Jeb Bush and Wall Street throw their weight behind New York charter school chain

by Laura Clawson for Daily Kos –

jeb bush

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Doesn’t this list of big names coming out to support a single politically connected charter school chain just say it all?

Hundreds of Wall Streeters gathered at Cipriani in Midtown Manhattan last night to raise funds for Success Academy Charter Schools — the charter school network that’s been battling with Mayor Bill de Blasio.Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush gave the keynote address and former CNN journalist Campbell Brown was honored.

Actually, wait. There is one more thing to be said about this cast of characters: Campbell Brown goes around attacking teachers unions and promoting charter schools in the media without disclosing that her husband, former Bush administration official and Mitt Romney adviser Dan Senor, is on the board of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst.

Then there was Jeb Bush’s take on de Blasio’s denial of public school space to three Success Academy branches (while allowing the chain to open four other charters in public school buildings):

“The simple fact is, though, that it’s not very logical when you campaign on a platform of ensuring that every child gets a great education and then you try to deny access to the very schools that are meeting that goal? I’m missing something,” he continued.

Apparently Jeb is a little shaky on the meaning of the word “every.” The chain has astronomically higher suspension rates than New York City public schools, using that harsh discipline and pressure on parents to push kids out. In fact, an administrator was caught on tape trying to push a special needs student out of Success Academy and into the public schools so that the charter wouldn’t have to deal with special needs. Meanwhile, in several cases the public schools that Success Academy is trying to move into are dedicated to special needs students who lose classroom space, are forced to eat lunch at 10:40 in the morning, or are even moved to other schools in order to make room for the charter. Meanwhile, the Success Academy test results that are so praised by the likes of Jeb Bush come as a result of spending astonishing amounts of time on test prep rather than education.

Sorry, Jeb. You don’t get to talk about “every child” in the same sentence as Success Academy any more than you get to equate standardized testing and real education. And sorry, Success Academy. When your fundraisers are Wall Streeters getting together with Jeb Bush at Cipriani, you don’t get to play the victim of big bad Bill de Blasio.


Reprinted with permission