Is the ‘charter school gravy train’ running ‘express to fat city’?

September 17, 2013
gravy train

Sometimes you find things in unexpected places, like this story, in Forbes magazine. The story, headlined “Charter School Gravy Train Runs Express To Fat City,” was written by a financial publisher and writer, not exactly the first person you’d think would take a hit at charter schools.

The author is Addison Wiggin, executive publisher of Agora Financial, LLC, described in his biography as “a fiercely independent economic forecasting and financial research firm based in Baltimore, Md.” Wiggin is also the creator and editorial director of Agora Financial’s daily 5 Min. Forecast and editorial director of Agora’s flagship publication The Daily Reckoning. He is the founder of Agora Entertainment and a best-selling author.

So what does he have to say about charter schools and the people who invest in them? A lot. Here’s how the piece starts:

On Thursday, July 25, dozens of bankers, hedge fund types and private equity investors gathered in New York to hear about the latest and greatest opportunities to collect a cut of your property taxes. Of course, the promotional material for the Capital Roundtable’s conference on “private equity investing in for-profit education companies” didn’t put it in such crass terms, but that’s what’s going on.

And that’s the nice part.

The interesting thing is not that Wiggin is saying something that school reform critics haven’t said. It’s just that he is saying it, and pulling no punches in doing so. Read the story.  It’s worth your time.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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Valerie Strauss | September 16, 2013