Is anybody else concerned about DCPS partnering with JPEF? I sure am.

A few months back Lori Hershey who i both like and think is doing a fantastic job said she wanted to re-partner with JPEF.  I was gobsmacked. I had spent the last five years fighting against the corporate interests seeking to privatize our schools of which JPEF has been an up front partner.

Among a litany of things their former president sad he wasn’t for good public schools, he was for good schools whether they be charters, voucher schools or public schools. An interesting position I felt for the president of an organization with public in their name. Then its founders Gary Chartrand is a huge force in Florida’s privatization movement and is on record sayings its a good thing that teachers lost their work protections and can now be easily fired.  Then there is all the time they have pushed charters and privatization too.

Fast forward to today and they have a new president, a former director of Teach for America, in fact most of their staff is former Teacher for America corp members and you will have to forgive me if I am not convinced they have turned over a new leaf.

Darryl Willie said a while back, he had to get his district some “Monies” and its true JPEF is dialed into the donor class, but the problem is the donor class hasn’t been our friend, insisting we do things their way and threatening the district when we didn’t.   

Instead of depending on the mercurial and often misguided ideas of the local donor class, many of who are also part of the privatization movement. I think a better plan is to have a sales tax referendum or a millage increase that way not only can we rely on experts in the field to make the right decisions, but we aren’t beholden to the ultra rich who are more interested in control than anything else. I like the super and most of the board but I fear they are making a devils bargain.

Also exactly what does JPEF bring to the table? What do they do that the Friends of NW JAX schools or some other group with a track record of supporting public ed couldn’t? My bet is nothing.

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