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How The Ghost of Steve Jobs Haunts Chicago Teachers

theodp (442580) writes | about a year and a half ago

Education 0

theodp (442580) writes "To those looking for a tech tie-in to the Chicago Teachers Strike, which will be entering its second week, Nick Carey explains how a wealthy support base — including Steve Jobs — has helped Rahm Emanuel take on the Teachers Union. Jobs — who told President Obama at the Tech Billionaires' Dinner that the Teachers Unions must die — and wife Laurene kicked in $100,000 to Emanuel's mayoral campaign to help put long-time friend and CTU-nemesis Emanuel in power (Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook ex-President Sean Parker, and Netscape co-founder Jim Clark also made hefty donations to Chicago for Rahm Emanuel ). Jobs' widow Laurene is a Board Member of NewSchools Venture Fund, the billionaire-backed nonprofit with the goal of reshaping education policy to bring about its members' vision of charter-school-friendly reform. In May, Laurene Powell Jobs joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel to discuss the future of education reform as part of a partnership between NewSchools and NBC News. NewSchools' reform efforts — which have benefited from $75 million in contributions from Chicago charter school backer Bill Gates, have already arguably (unintentionally) helped unseat the Mayor of Washington DC. Now, for better or worse, BusinessWeek reports they're disrupting the Chicago Public Schools with their charter school support. And with mega-grants from the likes of the Walton Family — $3.5 million to 'Shape Public Policy' and an ironically lesser amount of $2.38 million to 'Create Quality Schools' in 2011 alone — NewSchools is likely to have a disruptive effect on other cities' schools as well. As Billionaire Education Policy expert Robin Rogers notes, 'You can’t understand what’s happening in Chicago without factoring billionaire philanthropists like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Michael Dell, and Michael Bloomberg into the equation.'"

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