Disconnecting Wal-Mart From Charter Schools

UPDATE 2: Still no word from Tom Toch or Eduwonk about the conflict of interest issue (see previous posts), but in the meantime the Ed Sector's Kevin Carey rides in to say -- unconvincingly -- that Wal-Mart's anti-unionism is separate from the Walton Family Foundation's support for charters, and that it's the AFT's job to prove the charter/antiunion connection (AFT: He Who is Not the Enemy of My Enemy is My Enemy, Or Something.) It's not the AFT's responsibility -- it's the Ed Sector's. Remember what the report is called, Kevin: Connecting The Dots.

Previous Posts:
Connecting The Dots Behind "Connecting The Dots"
UPDATE: More Walton Foundation Report Concerns

More: EdWize says basically what I said above, but better: that it's hard to separate Wal-Mart from charters, and Carey's fancy rhetoric doesn't sway. So much for the new politics of education.


Blogger Collin Hitt said...


You're asking Carey to prove a negative - that the Waltons' motives are not anti-union.

I can't imagine a quantitative study that could reach those conclusions, and plausibly be called solid social science.

Certainly, facts could surface that affirm AFT's point, but I doubt that they will.

A man with impeccable credentials as a philanthropist, David Brennan, showed great affection and appreciation for the work of the Walton Family Foundation, during a Chicago luncheon address, earlier this fall.*

I was at that luncheon. For what it's worth, I have since viewed the activities of the Walton Family Foundation as a faithful continuation of the work of John Walton - that of helping America make good on its promise of universal, high-quality, public education.

Perhaps that's naive. But AFT is going to have to tarnish the legacy of a great American, before it can prove me wrong.

* - available on the Heartland Institute's website.

12:19 PM  
Blogger ed at aft said...

Given that the Waltons extensively funded Brennan's operations in the 1990s, its not surprising that he has nice things to say.

Beyond that, Brennan is hardly an education philanthropist except to the extent that he's losing money. Most, if not all, of his education operations are for profit.

And if Brennan's schools in particular are your idea of high quality, I'm deeply worried about you.

10:07 AM  

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