California Educator

August 2014

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Page 29 of 73

Perspectives T H I S I S A N E X C E R P T from a July 17 article by Bill Raden and Gary Cohn about the Vergara lawsuit (see page 32), which attempts to strip teachers of their due process rights. Read the full text at The [Vergara] suit and its accompanying public relations blitz had been bought and paid for by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch under the umbrella of Students Matter, Welch's personal Menlo Park education reform nonprofit. The reasons why tech titans like Welch and [Netflix CEO Reed] Hast- ings have decided that they know how public education can best be "fixed," and why they are backing those hunches with big money, have been a matter of some speculation. In celebrating Vergara's nullifi- cation of public school teacher job protections, however, Los Angeles schools superintendent John Deasy may have inadvertently dropped a clue when he declared, "Every day that these laws remain in effect represent an opportunity denied." The precise nature of that opportunity was immediately grasped by those who stand to gain the most from Vergara. In an ecstatic, post-verdict op-ed piece published on the online news site that serves Silicon Valley's tech-startup community, writer Danny Crichton gloated over "a key opening for startups to begin thinking about grade school in a post-tenure world" now that teachers were out of the way. When they speak to the general media, Silicon Valley ed reformers talk altruistically about the underserved and the right of the state's children to a quality education. But when they speak to each other they are more apt to talk in the language of money — that is, about the potential gold rush represented by the $638 billion spent on K-12 education between 2009 and 2010 by American taxpayers. What that murky intersection of entrepreneurship and altru- ism looks like in action might best be exemplified by Rocketship Education. Brett Bymaster is a Silicon Valley electrical engineer who, through his website Stop Rocketship Education Now!, has been fighting Rocketship's planned 30-school expansion into San Jose's low-income neighborhoods. "People need to understand," he says, "that there's tons of money in nonprofits, first of all. Second, nonprofits can become containers for for-profit organizations … and a lot of that is tax money going into rich people's pockets." Bonanza! Silicon Valley sees gold in corporate-driven school reforms By Bill Raden and Gary Cohn Review Credentials and Certificates § Multiple and Single Subject § Administrative Services § CTEL § Education Counseling/PPS § School Psychology/PPS § Special Education: Mild/Moderate § Reading and Language Arts § Child Life Specialist § New Learning Technology Bachelors § Liberal Studies § Child Development Doctoral § Organizational Leadership (Ed.D.) (La Verne Campus) Masters § Educational Leadership § School Counseling § School Psychology § Special Education § Reading § Special Emphasis § Child Life § Child Development (also online) WASC accredited, CCTC and NCATE approved. Programs offered at campuses throughout California. Contact for more information: College of Education and Organizational Leadership 1950 Third Street La Verne, CA 91750 877-GO-TO-ULV "La Verne provided the tools to make me an effective educator." Natasha Burrell M.Ed. Special Emphasis/Credential 2010 M.S. Educational Counseling/ PPS Credential 2014 6th Grade Math and ELA Teacher 14025596

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