Talking Points Memo recently launched a series called The Hidden History of the Privatization of Everything, focusing on what TPM calls “one of the most significant and pervasive politico-economic trends in the United States in the last half century.”
As the free market fairy tale goes, innovative charter schools force neighborhood schools to improve education, while schools that can’t compete eventually close. Parents are “customers” that need more “school choice,” and when a school fails, students simply find another.
A recent report found more than $200 million in charter school fraud, waste and self-dealing. Headlines regularly tell the story of money stolen and sudden, midyear charter school closures that leave children without a school and teachers unable to serve their students. Meanwhile, the Walton Family Foundation is spending hundreds of millions to promote the rapid expansion of charter schools, while advocating for deregulation and minimal oversight.
Public school advocates have produced an 11-point accountability agenda that would reduce charter school corruption and stop the weakening of neighborhood public schools. The agenda calls for increased accountability (through open board meetings, publicly available budgets and contracts, and rigorous audits); protecting neighborhood schools (through impact analyses and financial assessments of the effects of local schools); and protecting taxpayer funds (by ensuring the public retains control of public property,
She was the perfect patriotic icon: Sassy yet dignified, brawny yet feminine – a massive rivet gun cradled on her lap, feet resting on a copy of Mein Kampf. And all the while she holds a sandwich as Old Glory ripples in the background. Mary Doyle Keefe, a Vermont telephone operator who posed for Norman Rockwell’s immortal Rosie the Riveter painting, first publicly seen on a 1943 Saturday Evening Post cover, died Tuesday at the age of 92. At the time of her brush with fame, Keefe was Rockwell’s neighbor and a little embarrassed that the artist had pumped iron into the painted arms of the petite 19-year-old.
Rosie the Riveter had too much whimsy and restraint for it to fade into kitsch or agitprop oblivion. Like J. Howard Miller’s equally famous “We Can Do It!” poster, with which it is sometimes confused,