Michelle Rhee And George W. Bush Speaking At Posh For-Profit Education Conference

Remember when I wrote about for-profit colleges, student loans, and how they're sucking the life out of the federal student loan program and how the graduation rate is abysmal despite the fact that they cost nearly five times what public

Remember when I wrote about for-profit colleges, student loans, and how they're sucking the life out of the federal student loan program and how the graduation rate is abysmal despite the fact that they cost nearly five times what public universities cost?

If you don't understand my objection to the school privatization movement affectionately referred to by some as the "education deform" movement, go back and read that first paragraph again, because whether it is K-12 or college, it's obscene.

If you still don't think it's obscene, consider this. There is a conference happening in Las Vegas in June to bring together the deformers faithful and the profiteers who stand to become brand-spanking new billionaires as our public education system is slowly whittled away into nothing. And guess who the keynote speakers are?

George W. Bush and Michelle Rhee. The Bush keynote is being sponsored by Pearson, that wonderful testing and textbook company whose non-profit foundation is being investigated by the New York Attorney General for trying to influence public officials with trips and other perks. Bush and Co are, of course, one of the few standing in line waiting to reap the harvest of privatization goodies alongside brother Jeb, who is riding the privatization bandwagon in every state he can.

And of course, there is Michelle Rhee, the poseur who claims to be a "reformer" while she cuddles in bed with the righties like Betsy DeVos, ALEC, and now Dubya. Here's the company they'll keep, courtesy of Republic Report:

  • The attorneys general of 23 states have pursued a joint investigation of possible fraudulent activities by for-profit colleges including Corinthian, University of Phoenix, Education Management Corp., Kaplan, Keiser, and Bridgepoint.
  • The U.S. Justice Department and half a dozen states have sued Education Management Corp., owner of the Art Institutes and other for-profits, for fraud, alleging the company paid its recruiters based on the number of students signed up, in violation of federal rules. (EDMC denies these claims.)
  • Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix, disclosed on Thursday, that the SEC is investigating the company regarding insider trading. (Apollo said it would cooperate.)

After being regaled with depressing sales pitches on how to wreck our schools across the board, at least there's the promise of the Annual Concert starring Credence Clearwater...um, Revisited. They sort of look like CCR but there's no John Fogerty. Just the bass player and drummer from the original band. Still, I thought I'd include "Fortunate Son" as part of this post in honor of Dubya.

While Rhee and Dubya hold hands and rock back and forth dreaming of the big bucks in their hand when they conquer public education, perhaps the lyrics will resonate:

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they're red, white and blue
And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief"
Oh, they point the cannon at you, Lord

It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no Senator's son
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one, no

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don't they help themselves, oh
But when the tax men come to the door
Lord, the house look a like a rummage sale, yes

A fake band for fake reformers, including a fake Democrat and a grinning fool. How appropriate for an education defomers conference.

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