In his article for Alternet, “How the Cutthroat Walmart Business Model Is Reshaping American Public Education” Jeff Bryant writes, “. . . the Walton Family Foundation, the private foundation created with the retail giant’s wealth, announced that it would be “doubling down on its investments in school choice with a $1 billion plan to help expand the charter school sector and other choice initiatives over the next five years,” according to a report in Education Week.”
“. . . In fact, the foundation’s “strategic plan,” published in 2015, claims, “1 in 4 charters nationally have received Walmart Family Foundation startup funds.”
Bryant refers to Diane Ravitch saying, “She likens the competition that charters pose to public schools to the competition that Walmart stores present to locally owned stores, and suggests parallel consequences: just as Walmart forces stores that can’t match their prices to shut their doors, so charters — which bleed students, and their funding, from traditional schools — cause local schools to close down.”
Finally, Bryant makes a valid point, “Completely lost in the discussion, though, is whether it’s right for the American populace to have its access to education determined by the values and philosophy of a few rich people.”
Were the Walmart’s truly interested in providing all of America’s children with an excellent education it would not support charters but would spend billions to insure that every child in America would receive an excellent free and public education.
If an excellent education for every child was the motive of the “hedgehogs” they wouldn’t be opening charter schools, they would be using their financial influence to change our current system of education so that it encourages creativity and freedom of expression.
Their billions would support the discovery and development of the gifts and talents ALL of our children possess. With their money they could provide every child with a developmentally appropriate education, founded in the Arts and experiential.
If the “hedgehogs” were really concerned with the education of every child, every child would receive an excellent education in a free and public school, in a large urban setting or a small rural one.
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