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Diane Ravitch’s Blog: Minneapolis Public Schools: Will They Survive?

It is not news to readers of this blog that public education is under attack in cities across the nation by a politically powerful and heavily funded privatization movement. In some states, this movement has moved into the suburbs as well.

This video pulls away the mask of reform and explains in clear detail the nexus of connections behind the privatization movement in Minneapolis. This district was once the largest in the state. Due to the proliferation of privately managed charters, it is now the third largest in Minnesota.

The video has no production values. It is a simple narration of a complex graphic that displays the web of relationships among powerful foundations, one very powerful family, national organizations, and corporate interests.

All the big players have converged on Minneapolis: 50CAN, DFER, TFA, and many more, abetted by one powerful local family that owns the city’s biggest newspaper.

Charters in Minneapolis are more segregated than the public schools and get lower scores.

These inconvenient facts do not slow the advance of the privatization movement. They present themselves as idealists, and some are fooled by the rhetoric about “saving minority children from failing schools” and “closing the achievement gap.” They are flush with cash and federal tax credits, and fueled by ambition, a love of power, media adulation, and–for some–tidy profits.

Left to their own devices, they will restore a dual school system, both publicly funded, one free to kick out students, the other a dumping ground for the kids unwanted by the charters.

Left to their own devices, they will destroy public education in America.

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Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She is the Co-Founder and President of the Network for...