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Saturday, June 4, 2016

LATimes, Philanthropists shouldn't be in charge of education policy, is Gary Chartrand and DCPS listening.

Sometimes it is hard to tell where Gary Chartrand and his Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) end and Duval County Public schools begin. They have become entangled merging two what should be contrary agendas. 

Make no mistake, JPEF is here to help facilitate the privatization of our schools, and you can look at them advertising for a symposium extolling the virtues of charter schools, their white paper which basically said, charter schools do worse than public schools, we need more charter schools and the fact that their board is made up of numerous people who either have charter schools themselves or close ties to them.

The district on the other hand rather than pushing back against them has gotten into bed with them and a lot of this has to do with money.

Five of the seven school board members have taken money from Gary Chartrand and several other JPEF board members and likewise the district has taken millions from the Quality Education for All (QEA) initiative which was financed and planned by Chartrand and a handful of other philanthropists. The crown jewel of the QEA is an unsustainable and ill conceived merit pay scam that has already caused much derision. 

What more and more people are picking up on is just because you are rich it doesn't mean you know anything about education. Gary Chartrand is a grocer by trade by the way yet the district gives him (and JPEF) such latitude that you would think he has a doctorate in education and thirty years of in school experience. 

Like the LATimes is warning people about Bill Gates we too should be leary of people like Chartrand who bring money with strings attached to their bad ideas.

From the LATimes:

Philanthropists are not generally education experts, and even if they hire scholars and experts, public officials shouldn’t be allowing them to set the policy agenda for the nation’s public schools. The Gates experience teaches once again that educational silver bullets are in short supply and that some educational trends live only a little longer than mayflies.

Gary Chartrand and JPEF will end up doing for more harm than good and it is past time the district cut ties with both. As much as we do need to invest more in education the money Chartrand contributes comes with to high of a cost.

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