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Need Money? Become a School Turn-Around Expert: No Experience Necessary

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By Linda Dobson

You know, more and more frequently I read the news and can’t believe grown human beings are actually saying and doing what they’re saying and doing.

WastedMoneyApparently, with all the billions of dollars flying around for “school reform,” people who have little to no business jumping into line with their hands out are offering themselves up as “school turn-around experts,” to be hired by those schools that, under the “improvements” of Race to the Top, are at risk of being closed, at worst, or shaken up, at best.

You’ll find what you need to know in Sam Dillon’s New York Times piece, “Inexperienced Companies Chase U.S. School Funds,” but in the meantime, here’s some of the “meat:”

A husband-and-wife team that has specialized in teaching communication skills but never led a single school overhaul is seeking contracts in Ohio and Virginia. A corporation that has run into trouble with parents or authorities in several states in its charter school management business has now opened a school turnaround subsidiary. Other companies seeking federal money include offshoots of textbook conglomerates and classroom technology vendors.

Many of the new companies seem unprepared for the challenge of making over a public school, yet neither federal nor many state governments are organized to offer effective oversight, said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy, a nonprofit group in Washington. “Many of these companies clearly just smell the money,” Mr. Jennings said.

I looked into my crystal ball and it told me that this free-for-all is yet another in a long string of abuses of taxpayer money. To add insult to injury, it won’t help your child in school, either; not one iota.

And what of the school districts looking to hire the inexperienced “turn-around experts?”

Recognizing the risks facing school districts that sign contracts with untested groups, the American Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit conservative policy group, issued a report last month urging that districts require performance guarantees, under which contractors failing to meet achievement targets would forfeit payments.

Do people in charge of spending YOUR money REALLY need to be told to get a guarantee before shelling it out? I’m afraid they do, because for many many years public schooling has been a spending free-for-all with very little/no accountability. THIS is why the cost of schooling a child has multiplied over the years.

Schools really are in trouble today. Parents, do what you need to do to get your child(ren) out. They are too precious to sacrifice to this madness.

Anyway, I could use just a couple of million. What do you think of this name for my company? Turn-around and Run from School Just As Fast As Your Legs Will Carry You, Inc.

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2 Responses to “Need Money? Become a School Turn-Around Expert: No Experience Necessary”

  1. Mother Mary says:

    Apparently there are also folks shopping themselves as lobbyists for school districts so the district can get more funding. Now how that works, I haven't got a clue. Additionally, my school district has a public relations office, to create good press and smooth over the 'problems'. Oh, for open books…

  2. I'm thinking it's a symptom of the "bottomless money pit" that has heretofore been offered up to public schools, and now everyone wants a piece because the pie seems (is) huge!

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