Posts Tagged ‘corproate reform’

Show us the money: “Master Class” for private equity investors in public education

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Even when people recognize how hard corporations are working to take over public education, they still wonder – is there really that much money to be made in education? Maybe the hedge funders are really doing all this just to help children.

It’s a natural question given the fact that teachers are modestly paid and schools are mostly underfunded, hardly one’s idea of a lucrative investment opportunity.

Well, the private equity investor drool is on full display in this “Master Class” invitation from Capital Roundtable, a group that bills itself as “America’s leading conference company for the middle-market private equity community.”

Here are just a few quotes from the “Master Class” announcement which should leave no room for speculation about corporate motivation to get involved in public education .

“Private equity investing in for-profit education is soaring.”

“For-profit education is one of the largest U.S. investment markets, currently topping $1.3 trillion in value.”

“2013, and beyond, will see numerous for-profit companies making inroads into public and non-profit education by taking over large swaths of the market.  What’s more, they’ll prosper in the corporate training and continuing education marketplace as well.”


  • The entire education sector now represents nearly 9 percent of the U.S. GDP.
  • Merger and acquisition activity in for-profit education last year surpassed activity at the peak of the Internet boom.

Some of what you will learn at this Master Class:

  • Find out which technologies are poised to take off, such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), adaptive learning platforms, and virtual laboratories.
  • Recognize the growing demand for training tools to assess performance and measure effectiveness.
  • Gain insight on the strongest opportunities to lower costs and improve learning.

Some of the questions that will be answered: 

  • How are lenders approaching education deals, and what factors are behind their decisions?
  • What specific criteria should you use in evaluating potential deals?

It’s an especially nice touch that the event is being held on the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, January 15. I’m sure he’d be there if he could.

The class only costs $1,395, which no doubt is tax deductible.


Guess what? Parents see through the hype

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

With all of the millions being spent on charter school, anti-teacher and parent trigger propaganda these days, it’s a wonder we poor parents can keep our heads on straight!

But we seem to be doing it.

Check out this quote from the Sun-Times this morning:

Blanca Hernandez, whose son Octavio is a fourth-grader at Greeley Elementary in Lake View, said she wanted him back in school but felt the teachers needed to take a stand against what she sees as the dangerous encroachment of charter schools.

“All of this is about the future of the kids,” she said. “Education is the most important thing for our country. I feel like charter schools are going toward privatized schools. I don’t like that.”

And how about our kids?

Amundsen senior Maame Atta-Krah, 17, said she closely followed the news coverage of the strike and supported the walkout.

“I felt what the teachers needed for them was for us as well,” she said. “I feel there is too much emphasis on” standardized testing.

and this student…

Danielle Geronimo, 16, an Amundsen junior, greeted the school day with “mixed emotions.”

“It’s nice that we get to continue junior year but it’s really hard to wake up in the morning,” she said. She said the teachers on the picket line were right to be concerned about large class sizes.

“They’re saying classes are really big and they are,” she said.

I have a newsflash for Stand for Children, Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst, DFER and the rest of the  corporate reform crowd – you can’t buy this kind of support (try as you might).

Parent: “I think there was some frustration but at least in my family, we understood this had to get resolved,” Heltzer said. “We love Waters (school).”

Student: “I really missed all of my old classmates. Plus we have the best teacher in school.”

It’s pretty obvious who doesn’t get it and who does.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.