Stripmining Education

It is common essay fodder now to write about the futile ways the system tries to fix education. Gates and his Common Core are being shuffled offstage, but private foundations still capture school boards’ attentions. Because admitting that the achievement gap has a genetic basis is verboten, education officials, parents and municipalities will listen to The Music Man style pitches from private foundations. What has happened is that education, especially on taxpayer dime in our awful urban school, is nothing but a cash cow for private firms that have an army of consultants, advisors and salesmen for the newest system that will boost scores and close that immovable gap.

Chicago witnessed sentencing for a scandal that exemplifies this insanity and the mega-millions involved. The Chicago Public Schools CEO was sentenced to years in jail for corruption involving millions in school contracts. This is after the man who ran the firm that bribed her was sentenced to seven years in jail as well. If you read up on what SUPES Academy did for services and combine it with how its owner Gary Solomon was busted, you see the scam many anti-foundation articles hint at with conflicts of interest.

SUPES was created by Solomon after he was a dean at a school. He left under allegations of misconduct of a sexual nature. After his departure, he worked for the Princeton Review. After understanding the education racket from the private side, Solomon then attacked in roughly the same manner that progressive subversives have used for decades: educating school administrators and leaders.

SUPES had a superintendent certification program, and was the only firm to have one in America, a monopoly marketing point. Problem is that states do have their own programs. SUPES had a roster of administrators that came through its training program and also placed SUPES graduates elsewhere. In this corruption scandal in Chicago with Byrd-Bennett (68 year old black female), the scam is revealed.

Ms. Byrd-Bennett was a SUPES employee until April 2012, when she was brought into the CPS. Magically after October of 2012, SUPES received three contracts worth a combined $4.2 million and then the whopper which was a no bid $20 million contract for investing in academic leadership. The bribery gets involved in an old fashioned way that would have made the machine pols of the early 20th century proud. It was a money honest system that went blurry.

Byrd-Bennett had lavish treatment by SUPES while CEO of CPS, and these were gifts of sorts but the killer was the kickback. The CEO of CPS was promised a plum job after she resigned from her CPS position in exchange for guiding the contracts to SUPES. For a promise of a six figure job in the future, SUPES was collecting millions in government contracts.

Educating superintendents and principals is not going to boost scores. This is stripmining education for the surface gain of hucksters and the owners of these snake oil salesmen. SUPES was just caught and more blatant about it because hey, it’s Chicago. Broad Foundation and the Gates crew all act in this manner. Educators and administrators go through the revolving door from the training to the schools back to the training all the while hiring their classmates and making sure the foundation programs get enacted for a price.

Like McDonald’s going downmarket and accepting EBT, therefore turning the underclass into a money conduit to help its bottom line, these foundations are a racket to milk the education system run by officials that desperately want to say they are doing something, anything, to boost the scores of underclass children. This wastes millions as our education system wastes billions trying to fix the unfixable.

No one cares though because they want the magic elixir to close the gap.

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