The media is predictably singing the praises of rap mogul Diddy for opening a charter school in Harlem. Now, before I get into this post, many of you will wonder why I am talking about this, despite this looking like a bit of good news for a change. The answer is that the area of education reform is a mess, and causes confusion on so many sides. Its hard for some people to see things for what they are, and the hidden forces behind education reform a.k.a school privatization have been pretty good at masking much of their aims under the guise of “it’s about the children.” Except, that it’s really not. The hedge fund managers who are supporting these moves on public education are not doing so for altruistic reasons.
I support public schools. Point Blank. The encroachment of charter schools is really about busting teachers unions, and profiteer off by siphoning off needed resources from public schools. Why would I root for Diddy’s school when this is really what it comes down to? For him, as well as many others, “It’s All About The Benjamins.”
Also, his partner in shakedown Steve Perry has been described as a known union buster who has described teacher’s unions as roaches. That’s endearing. In an overcrowded “market” for charter schools, no one ever asks why many of them are opened up in mostly Black and Brown neighborhoods.
Harlem needs another charter school about as much as it needs another liquor store. Ironically, Diddy profits from the latter, and will eventually do so for the former. It’s done under the guise of getting rid of “bad teachers” but working conditions are worse.
Nevermind the that charter schools overdo it with disciplinary actions and suspensions that only hurt the children. I have spoken personally to parents that have pulled their child out of charter schools because of issues like this.
But, don’t let any of this deter you from rooting for Diddy assisting in the private takeover of public education. It’s just about not “hating on a brotha” and ducking the long term effects of what this neo-liberal school reform policy entails. No one ever stops to think what will happen the day that hedge fund managers no longer see schools as a profitable market. Go ahead and cheer though.