While there are visible public fights going on over the search for new Superintendent for Denver schools, a more invidious effort to privatize public schools is happening is virtual darkness.
One education researcher, PhD Nancy Bailey writes:
Consider the Luminary Learning Network involved with Denver Public Schools. This is a 501 (c) (3) that partners with The Gates Family Foundation. That’s the same Gates Foundation that has employed past school board member Mary Sewell and current board member Lisa Flores. They claim it’s an Innovation School Zone run by the community schools partners and with Empower Schools—a strange pro-privatization group out of Massachusetts that claims to inform and shape policies and share learnings to help advance the Third Way.
The four Denver Luminary schools are apparently still traditional public schools, but you would never know it. They are run like separate charter or private schools, free of rules and collective bargaining. Instead of bolstering programs within the school, children and their families rely on outside organizations and businesses for instruction, like the arts.
Denver has been tied to all kinds of insidious reforms in recent years, including the Relay Graduate School of Education which is a faux Teach for America-like group designed to destroy the teaching profession.
It’s hard not to think that Board Members like Ann Rowe are not provoking fights with community members to create distractions behind the scene for privatization that she, Flores and Barbara O’Brien champion.
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