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Dan Morris

The Twisted Logic of Deregulation: Market Failure = School Success

In a Washington Monthly review of Diane Ravitch's much ballyhooed book on the failures of education reform, Richard Kahlenberg couldn't help but quote this passage:

"At the very time that the financial markets were collapsing, and as deregulation of the financial markets got a bad name, many of the leading voices of American education assured the public that the way to educational rejuvenation was through deregulation."

I fell out of my chair, too. This is startling coming from Ravitch, the conservative education historian and wonk who served as assistant education secretary under George H. W. Bush. Of course, Ravitch is not yet to charter schools what Matt Taibbi is to Wall Street. But still, notice what she's saying: even though deregulation was supposedly discredited after the financial markets imploded, that failure did not prevent leaders from touting the very same ideology as the way to ensure success in other institutions--namely schools. This raises questions about how alive and well and kicking deregulation is.

News reported last year in the Wall Street Journal all of a sudden sounds more ominous:

"In Minnesota, concerns about improper financial ties between charter schools and their governing boards have led the state legislature to consider tougher restrictions. Pennsylvania charter schools recently adopted a tighter ethics code amid an investigation into alleged nepotism and financial improprieties involving several Philadelphia charters. In Ohio, where about two-thirds of charter high schools fail to graduate at least half of their seniors, the state auditor says the financial records of 17 charter schools are so bad as to be "unauditable."


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Posted at 4:01 PM, Mar 04, 2010 in Education
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