So is this just a case of Republicans believing that privatization is always better?

New Jersey is becoming ground zero in the Republican campaign to turn public schools into corporate profit centers. Governor Christie’s education plans include a new $825 million private school voucher program paid for by cutting $820 million out of the public education budget. The program was designed by Christie and his Education Commissioner – Christopher Cerf - who just happened to previously be the President of the world’s largest for-profit school corporation – Edison Schools, Inc.

So is this just a case of Republicans believing that privatization is always better? Not exactly…it turns out Governor Christie used to be a lobbyist on behalf of Edison Schools Incorporated – and routinely lobbied the state on behalf private schools.

And now as Governor – Christie is giving the ultimate kickback to his former employers – the state’s entire public education system and over $800 million bucks. Chris Christie - the best governor money can buy.


gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

A fifty-nine minute video!

Bill Moyers knows!

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

Americans will get what they deserve! Have you noticed that minority rules and not the majority in our Anti-Christ nation. Privatization of our entire nation is not the answer for our many problems!!! Americans are buying a pig in a poke from the Anti-Life Party. Are Americans really aware of how they are being screwed by the right? We must never believe that the right is a moral party. The right is committing mortal sins every minute as they take control over you and me.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

With our rigged elections from various sources the conservative crazies will never lose in our devil incarnate nation.

Dinesh's picture
Dinesh 13 years 1 week ago

Hi Thom,

One quick question:

If these guys do not understand the role of Government then why did they run for public offices and why are they are running for Presidency?? This is hypocrisy.

rladlof's picture
rladlof 13 years 1 week ago

Privatization is the Smurfiest word for fascism.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

@2950-10K & dotymed, I commented on your posts on Thom's blog for June 13, 2011, the numbers are 26 & 27!

midwestgal's picture
midwestgal 13 years 1 week ago

To clarify. Ron Paul is not for public school privatization or vouchers. But rather tax credits if anything, as is explained on his site.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

I had time to listen to Bill Moyers speak at UC-Santa Barbara on January 23, 2011. He knows!!! Violence sells in America! More guns are in the hands of people and the killing has increased. The NRA is wrong. We are a culture of cruelty. Our country is sinking around me. The sinking of the Titanic is happening in the United States. Our country is coming apart. Our politics does not help us live in cooperation, love, sympathy, and connection. We are living in the law of the jungle. We are living in predatory capitalism. CEOs are comparing human beings with animals, survival of the fittest. America is a wasteland and we are being torn apart. By 2043 the United States will have income inequality like Mexico. America is not a pretty sight. Americans do not have the purchasing power to keep our economy going. Equality makes societies stronger; inequality creates more problems and it also creates lack of sympathy and we see more sociopaths. The eyes see it with feeling. The rich are insulating themselves from ordinary people. Our political system is creating a system that accumulates more wealth for the rich. The rich are dividing and conquering over ordinary people. THE GOP STANDS FOR GUARDIANS OF PRIVILEGE!!! One percent of Americans controls fifty percent of the wealth. It is the winner takes all. Both parties want money and so they vote for the money lenders wishes. The middle class is no longer relevant in America. Businesses do not have a problem in finding workers. The workers are from foreign countries. WE CANNOT PUT OUR FATE IN PARTIES; WE NEED TO PUT OUR FATE IN OURSELVES!!! THE RICH SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO BUY A DEMOCRACY.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

Thom, Bill Moyers after his speech said there are guests who conceal instead of reveal. You have many guests from the GOP who conceal. He felt that guests needed to reveal their minds. His best guest was Jimmy Carter and his worst guest was Henry Kissinger!

DELETEBusGreg 13 years 1 week ago


Of course we have to cut education. How else could we afford the military empire.

click on "Total DoD Inventory" and see the size of this monster. (DOD-94 is the final tally) With better and quality education of the voting public the military-industrial-congressional complex might not survive.

(note the sarcasm above)

Bonsai's picture
Bonsai 13 years 1 week ago

I was a teacher in Chula Vista Elementary Schools when Edison stole one of the public schools to convert to a charter run by them. They promised the moon to the Board and took teachers off the District Contract and put them on a pay scale that was not comensorate with the one teachers were barely scraping by on then. The first year they juked the test scores to make them look good and tried to explain why they didn't have to test their special ed students. At the time we, the CVE (Chula Vista Educators) were in a fight with the district and Pete Wilson because we had gone some 4 or 5 years without a pay raise to the class and step scale that teachers were paid on. All of this is to say that these guys started out hinky and this is just further proof that they are indeed crooks and should never, ever get another school charter approved from any Public School District.


wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 13 years 1 week ago

Is. it possible that he simply believes in it

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 13 years 1 week ago

Does the same apply to the recent house, senate, and president all from the same party?

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 13 years 1 week ago

Seems to me, that the rich are already paying for the majority of our civilization, perhaps they should pay for it all.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 13 years 1 week ago

Oh yes, those poor, poor rich people. So severely abused throughout all history, under-represented in government when they have been represented at all, and with every law that the middle class forces congress to pass, the misfortunes of the sorrowful rich are multiplied. My heart just bleeds for those neglected rich people who have always had to bear such an unfair burden for the selfish, rotten bastards in the middle class. When the middle class wants roads, schools, hospitals, telephone service, tv, cable, food, water, clothing, cars, houses, and other complete and total crap that they do not need at all, who pays for those services and goods? The rich and the corporations, that's who! The middle class people sit there in their nice houses, ordering the rich people around just like they have always done. Get me a drink of water. Cook me some food and feed it to me. Dress me. Do my laundry. Mow my lawn. Pay for my kids' education. I tell you, there is no rest for the rich. And if you can name ONE middle class person who has ever paid even one penny in taxes, I will eat some broccoli. I'm not joking, I'll do it.

But sarcasm aside, let's get back to the topic at hand: it's obvious what to do with governor Christie: put him in a Haliburton-owned prison. No, not as the warden but as a prisoner.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 13 years 1 week ago

What should be done?

A person must choose between a career in civil service or private business. Apparently the play "Servant of Two Masters" is no longer taught.


bicyclingjroad's picture
bicyclingjroad 13 years 1 week ago

One can only be Truffaldino for so long.


benheres123 13 years 1 week ago

Does anyone doubt that, on average, private schools provide greater opportunity for an educational future? Even if you leave out facts such as children who attend private or charter schools statistically score higher on math and English tests, produce higher grades in college and earn higher wages after college, you still have to consider that private school attendees have a greater chance of being accepted to a college or university.

New Jersey is a tough situation. If it was any other industry, any other issue, I would default to my skeptical self and determine that Christie is probably shaping policy for monetary incentives. However, I feel too strongly about this, thus I am very uncomfortable assuming Christie, or anyone, does not have similar feelings. This is one issue that I really do believe that the ends justify the means. I do not care how we get there, but we need to improve the educational system now. And with that caveat, there is only one way to get there quickly and that is to exploit human nature, fight evolution, regress, and promote competition. I know I will stand alone among my colleagues and friends, but on this issue, I do not care. We have to rid the system of incompetent teachers. We have to end tenure for teachers. I understand the reason for the creation of tenure; however, we all know this is not what was intended. Education is the most critical issue to the future of this country. Oh yeah, by the way, I am a high school physics teacher.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 13 years 1 week ago

David good job! I can't imagine all the hard work those top 400 with more wealth than the bottom 150 million put into that unearned income every year. WHEW!!!!!! It makes me exhausted to think about it......all those phone calls to the hedge fund manager, got to cash in on all those losers stuck in their 401K's.

I agree with Thom, Christie is all about good old fashion cronyism, using political ideology as the disguise/ justification.

bicyclingjroad's picture
bicyclingjroad 13 years 1 week ago

Well stated. Too many teachers, believe schools are built to give them jobs. Schools are built to educate students. I'm a retired executive, who now does substitute teaching.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

Americans will see a tsunami sweep for the GOP in 2012. Obama seems to be elated with only a one term presidency. He should be with the massive wealth he has from the coffers of his first win. He should be able to add another $100 million to his $170 million in his current trust fund. A $270 million haul for four years in office should please Obama even more!!!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 13 years 1 week ago

I bought a new refrigerator about 9 months ago because the old one, a GE which I had for about 20 years, was eating up a little too much electricity and the compressor seemed to be running pretty hot and getting kinda noisy. I just spent a while transferring all of my food from the "new" refrigerator back to my old one, which still works, now in the garage because my new one was about to cause hundreds of dollars of food to spoil because it was failing to keep things cold/frozen. I won't name the model but suffice it to say that the "air" was in no way "frigid" and getting hotter by the minute. The freezer had warmed up to about 33 degrees and the refrigerator part was at about 58 degrees. I am happy now that I didn't have the old refrigerator hauled off as it was a good storage cabinet...but now back to being a refrigerator again. They just don't make stuff as reliable as they used to. The new frig had a 1 year original warranty and I will have to call the repair men...hoping they don't try a fast one on me saying that they wouldn't cover the warranty because of something or other. We'll see.

Ron G McComb 13 years 1 week ago

Letting the banksters dictate the rules about banking and finance is the same as letting bank robbers dictate the rules about bank robbery. DUH!!! Deregulation of the financial system is like deregulation of robbery, rape, and pillage. We can see the results. Do we want the world economy to degenerate into something akin to the wild west where murder robbery and mayhem go unchecked? The economy is like a snake who's head has been severed from it's body and, so far at least, niether the head or tail has gotten the memo.

Ron G McComb 13 years 1 week ago

If the so called free marketeers insist on their privatization agenda when will we answer with calls to nationalise the banks, oil companies, etc??

jonstewartstwin's picture
jonstewartstwin 13 years 1 week ago

regardless of Christie's intentions, his personal history makes his actions appear cronyistic... nepotistic... inappropriate... ps, if you're a high school physics teacher, you know that the lion's share of educational failure in this country is the result of a lack of parental support and guidance, not a couple of lame teachers.

jonstewartstwin's picture
jonstewartstwin 13 years 1 week ago

There could be nothing worse for this country and the rest of the world than a tsunami sweep of the GOP. As Michelle Bachmann demonstrated 2 nights ago, the GOP is anti-science (no global warming/evolution), and hyper-religious (make their decisions based on myths perpetuated thousands of years ago). If that's what the country wants, so be it, but The Koch Bros and ginormous, unregulated corporations have a ton more money than the Dems, and have the potential buy any legislation and/or office they want... only an educated, informed, teleological, i.e PROGRESSIVE public can oppose the right wing money that has corrupted this country since the mid 19th century... instead of trolling the site, you should read some of Tom's books... there's no opinion/hyperbole, just information. PS. it's inaccurate and disingenuous to say that Obama seems to be elated to be a one term president... you know he didn't say that, and never mentioned elation...he said it wouldn't upset his family if he only served one term... let's keep it real, shall we?

MNDem999 13 years 1 week ago

For 38 years the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been forwarding thier agenda of privatization. ALEC's reasoning behind this is that government agencies and government regulations create an unfair competitive advantage for their private corporate sector members - thus regulations must be eliminated or government services / agencies must be privatized. I was kind of surprised yesterday when Thom was perplexed about the possibility of privatization of foster care and adoption , so I offer this diary link for review:

People choose to associate what is happening in today's political arena with Reagan. But that is only part of the story, as the American Legisaltive Exchange Council has been slowly and drastically changing the face of our political envionrment for the past 38 years, through our state legislatures and through their past members who are now serving in the US Congress. Any discussion of how government, government services, politics and democracy in the US is changing is incomplete without including the extremely strong impact that ALEC is having on our political process.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

@jonstwartstwin, There could be nothing worse for this country and the rest of the world than a tsunami sweep of the GOP. You are absolutely right but I call them the way I see them!

If you have been reading my posts, you will know that I am not always right but I am never wrong!!!

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

With a second run for the presidency Obama will rake in at least another $100 million dollars if not another $150 million!!! Yes, I can live very well on $300 million. Thank you very much for the money!!! America is a cesspool and a garbage dump of filth, murder, hatred, corruption, and lies!!!

jonstewartstwin's picture
jonstewartstwin 13 years 1 week ago

If Obama supporters pony up another couple hundred million, that's STILL PEANUTS compared to the amount of money the right raises...especially with John Roberts solidifying the bastardized 14th amendment's assertion that corporations are people and able to contribute to political campaigns... again, it's all about keeping it REAL... i don't disagree w/you on the state of the country, but we're only in this position because of corporate influence, aka $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$... by the people, for the people... Jefferson, Madison and the rest of the framers couldn't have been any more clear!

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 1 week ago

Running for political office is a racket and not an interest in service!!!!!

jonstewartstwin's picture
jonstewartstwin 13 years 1 week ago

a) not necessarily, b) aside from violent revolution, it's our only means, it's how our system is designed...

TheCarl1942's picture
TheCarl1942 13 years 1 week ago

No nation can survive without developing its natural resources. Our children are our most valuable resource and the American Education System is failing to adequately develop that resource. Privatization will just create a larger "Landed Aristocracy" than we now have. How can the crisis be solved?

I've been an English Language teacher since 1966. In one hour I'm walking out of my final class. Here's what I know from experience. Not all children can appreciate or even have an interest in what we consider to be the “Standard American Education.” The problem is 3 fold.

1. A.) Teachers must be required to take more college courses in the subject they intend to teach. Each year the quality of my cadet teachers has gotten worse. Colleges are now turning out graduates with what I would consider to be a good high school education. Too much time is spent on researching the problem and developing new ways to "motivate" students. All of it is junk. I have never been able to teach anything I don't know, nor can anyone else. I have college credits equivalent to 9+ years and in the last 45 years have never stopped learning. B.) The administration must make and ENFORCE rules. To this day I don’t understand exactly what administrators do except have meetings to make them look busy. I been told that those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. I have news for you. Those who can’t teach, administer.

2. A.)The students must be in school to get an education. I have unbelievable absenteeism. The system is permeated with the attitude that an excused absence is also an excuse for not being held responsible for the day’s lesson. B.) Parents must, must be held responsible for providing a quiet, safe place to study, getting their student(s) to school on time, making sure they are well fed, and verifying that all homework is done. Too often I am just babysitting unruly children that make maintaining a classroom learning atmosphere difficult under the best of circumstances and impossible under most. I average 5 of these students an hour. Even friends have difficulty believing the stories I tell about what I have to handle in my classroom. C.) Students who cannot be educated in the regular classroom MUST be offered some kind of valuable alternative education. The Europeans had a vocational program designed into the system years ago.

3. The Puritans made education free, public and required. Our founding fathers knew that we need an educated public in order to maintain our basic freedoms. Yet today Education is the first to have budgets cut. Colleges are under funded. The cost of college has gotten totally out of control. We, the people, must help our able students get into and stay in college. Class sizes must be maintained at approximately 25 students per hour. Larger class sizes make it impossible to get to every student each period. Smaller class sizes tend to limit classroom discussions.

It may sound trite but the truth is that I teach children English, not English to children. I get to know my students so I can give each one what is needed. Maybe that is why I still hear from so many students I've had in my classes over the last 45 years.

Well, my final bell just rang and I’m out of here!

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 13 years 1 week ago

"Privatization isn't the solution to the problem; privatization is the problem." U.S. Citizen

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 13 years 1 week ago

@TheCart1942: Thank you for being a teacher...and obviously a very good one. We have been propagandized into the necessity of showing our gratitude to men and women of the armed forces whenever we address them. We thank them for their "service to their country"...and do not cavil about the definition of "country" as possibly meaning those who are getting rich and powerful from blood money and who are the real driving force behind various wars we engage in. And many only give up a few years to that endeavor..some actually risking their lives...but not all.

But is that same courtesy extended to teachers...ones who have spent their lives in the classroom battlefield?

My father was a school administrator and teacher and I remember some of the frustrations he expressed with the "system"....the school board, the parents, the politics...and the expectations of the various forces that considered themselves to be "messengers and proselytizers from their particular brand of religious righteousness". Teachers have always had to "walk the line" and be very careful not to say anything that could upset the sensitivities of the community. And as I remember it the school systems have been used by political and religious groups to mold children in ways that did not foster questioning authority sufficient to support a real democracy.

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and Lord's Prayer every morning before class, Fish on the menu for Fridays, and never being able to read or discuss material that would have fostered real democratic ideas....but only "approved" textbooks and what gave it away that we were meant to be automatons for the ruling classes.

Just as Japan's schools would always gloss over, or never mention, Japan's atrocities in Manchuria and China, the US downplays it's own criminal history and glorifies the nation. And the beat goes on......

Teachers are not paid as well as they should be nor given the respect that they deserve.

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