What You Need to Know About ALEC

Want to know who is pulling the stings of the corporate reform movement?

Keep your eye on ALEC, short for the American Legislative Exchange Council.

This is a secretive group of about 2,000 state legislators, major corporations and far-right think tanks.

The goal of ALEC is privatization and advancing the interests of corporations.

ALEC drafts model laws and its members introduce them in their state, sometimes verbatim.

ALEC has model was for charter schools, vouchers, online charter schools, for-profit schools, and laws to weaken or eliminate collective bargaining, teacher tenure, and certification. It wants a free market.

Recently, ALEC debated Common Core and came close to passing a resolution opposing the standards as a federal takeover. But Jeb Bush intervened and persuaded his friends to remain neutral.

Some of the corporate sponsors dropped out last year because of ALEC’s sponsorship of the “Stand Your Ground” legislation in Florida, invoked by the man who killed an unarmed black teen.

Here is a list of ALEC’s education task force members.

You may see some of your state legislators on the list.

To learn more about ALEC, read this informative article by Julie Underwood, dean of the school of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

ALEC Exposed is the best website to learn about ALEC’s ambitious plans to privatize and deregulate many spheres of American society while benefitting big corporations.

When I blogged at Education Week, I wrote a post about ALEC. Its policy director wrote to say that President Obama shares many of ALEC’s goals. It is a strange time we live in.

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Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She serves on the board of the Core Knowledge Foundation, Common Core, the Albert Shanker Institute of the American Federation of Teachers, and Common Good. She is an honorary life trustee of the New...