Privatizing Government Services in the Era of ALEC and the Great Recession – Part III: EDUCATION

III.  ALEC AND PUBLIC EDUCATION

ALEC’s model legislation promotes the interests of its corporate members,who act through an ALEC Task Force with a specific legislative focus.  Each task force has a public- and private-sector chair.  The public chair is usually a state legislator.  For example, the Public-Sector Chair of ALEC’s Education Task Force is Representative David Casas of Georgia, and the Private-Sector Chair is Mickey Revenaugh of Connections Academy. 34   Connections Academy describes itself as “a leading national provider of virtual public school curriculum,technology and school management services.” 35   In addition, “Sylvan Ventures (the venture capital arm of the for-profit Sylvan Learning Systems) started Connections Academy in 2001 … to benefit from increased school privatization and a movement away from real teachers and brick and mortar schools to virtual teachers and instruction.” 36 ALEC’s model legislation concerning education builds on existing legislation that promotes privatization of education and the public funding of charter and private schools.  The most important of these extant laws is No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  NCLB, which was signed into law in 2002, is the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) 37

[The] ESEA … encourages the creation of new charter schools with provisions facilitating conversion of traditional public schools into charter or other “alternative” schools.  The NCLB Act More →