Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Monday, May 14, 2012

ALEC finds a friend in the charter world

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an  extreme right-wing, anti-union, corporate front group that has worked successfully to pass pro-corporate laws in state legislatures across the country. They have been especially active in pushing legislation that supports school vouchers, privately-managed charter schools, and the outlawing of collective-bargaining rights for teachers.

Following the outcry over the group's pushing of  "Stand Your Ground" laws and racist voter-suppression acts, at least 15 major corporations, foundations, and other organizations have decided to end their funding commitments to ALEC.

But ALEC has another way of financing itself that doesn't involve private corporations at all, writes Huffington's Zaid Jilani.  He reports that The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is one of ALEC's members at least through 2009 and may well still be a member and is using public school money to support NACSA's work. NACSA's president and CEO Greg Richmond joined ALEC's Education Task Force around 2009.

Richmond's response:
 NACSA has worked with Democrats for Education Reform, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the Aspen Institute, ALEC, and the National Governors Association, among many others, to impact charter school policy and practice.
Jilani writes:
"I followed up to ask if NACSA was currently an ALEC member. NACSA gave me no response."
Richmond is no stranger to Chicago where he worked under Paul Vallas. Vallas then brought him and NACSA to New Orleans to help establish a privately-run charter system there in the wake of Hurrican Katrina. I wrote about him and NACSA last December when they ran this great charter school hustle in Illinois.

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