On Tuesday, Paul Ryan paid a visit to Harlem’s Success Academy, one of the many for-profit charter schools Republicans so love to promote. It did not go well.
After going on Fox & Friends to assure them he’s determined to strip millions of Americans’ access to healthcare, he headed over to Harlem. Since one million New Yorkers stand to lose their health insurance coverage people there were not happy to see them.
DNA Info reports Paul Ryan had a large crowd of protesters waiting for him.
Ryan was reportedly invited to visit Success Academy Harlem 1 by the charter network’s CEO Eva Moskowitz — an invite that immediately sparked outrage among education and health advocates.
But, as Fusion notes, he managed to find another way to sneak in.
Protesters lined the blocks around the school. Ryan, perhaps intend on averting a nightmare like the one that greeted Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos when she visited a school in February, conveniently found a different way in.
Unfortunately, the majority of voters in this country who did not vote for Donald Trump’s unified government have little recourse for holding Paul Ryan accountable, and he knows it. He just wants to visit his friends at Fox News and Eva Moskowitz’s little Potemkin Village of a model for-profit charter school.
In fact, The New York Daily News points out, there’s a public school right there in the same building. Yet Paul Ryan couldn’t even be bothered to drop by. The above article from Fusion notes “first daughter” Ivanka Trump also visited Success Academy’s Harlem campus while ignoring the public school in the same building.
Clearly, Republicans only care about THEIR America and are perfectly happy to ignore the rest of us. They talk about “accountability” and “personal responsibilitly” but refuse to be held accountable.
“Ryan Come out!” Protesters greet Paul Ryan, who refuses to show his face.
DNA Info adds protesters gathered along the streets surrounding the school building at 11:30 a.m. Theevent was organized by the Alliance for Quality Education, the Working Families Party, Strong Economy for All, Make the Road NY and Citizen Action NY.
— Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) May 9, 2017
— AQE New York (@AQE_NY) May 9, 2017
— Girls Really Rule. (@girlsreallyrule) May 9, 2017
— Madina Toure (@madinatoure) May 9, 2017
— L.A. Kauffman (@LAKauffman) May 9, 2017
— Uptown/Bronx DSA 🌹 (@UptownBronxDSA) May 9, 2017
The problem with for-profit charter schools.
Success Academy’s Harlem location is the flagship in Moskowitz’s fleet of education mills. And their other schools in New York outperformed most public schools. But that’s because charter schools get to cherry pick the most highly motivated students and kick out the ones who aren’t doing well.
Yet, in many cases, charter schools undermine public education while being unable to provide an adequate education to all students. People like Paul Ryan keep trying to privatize public services and have them run like a business. But, as John T. Harvey points out in Forbes magazine:
“The problem in a nutshell, is that not everything that is profitable is of social value and not everything of social value is profitable.”
A case in point is U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ failed experiment with vouchers and for-profit charter schools in Michigan. As Stephen Henderson writes in The Detroit Free Press, “school choice” in Detroit has left entire communities adrift and children in low-income neighborhoods stranded.
This deeply dysfunctional educational landscape — where failure is rewarded with opportunities for expansion and “choice” means the opposite for tens of thousands of children — is no accident. It was created by an ideological lobby that has zealously championed free-market education reform for decades, with little regard for the outcome.
Furthermore, these for-profit charter schools siphon off public tax dollars little if any accountability.
Largely as a result of the DeVos’ lobbying, Michigan tolerates more low-performing charter schools than just about any other state. And it lacks any effective mechanism for shutting down, or even improving, failing charters.
Make no mistake. When Republicans talk about “freedom” and “choice,” they mean giving you the “freedom” to “choose” between shitty options that are either unacceptable or unaffordable.