Fagen Promoting Privatization?

Look…Fagen is available for speaking engagements through the Friedman Foundation:


Liz Fagen - promoter of privatization?

Liz Fagen – promoter of privatization?

Feel free to peruse that site to see what The Friedman Foundation is all about, but here are a couple highlights:

Public Schools: Make them Private

Selling Schools Like Groceries

But wait, there’s more…:

Sourcewatch – a link between Friedman and ALEC

Similar to Michelle Rhee-ism

From the National Education Policy Center

I’m sure you can find even more tidbits about the Friedman Foundation, but make no mistake, the organization is all about privatizing public schools. Ask yourself one question: Why is the Superintendent of a PUBLIC School district speaking on their behalf?

Related: Section of Fagen’s (2011/12) contract regarding speaking engagements.

Propaganda…in a school district?


Tonight I received a very lengthy email from my BFF, Dr. Liz. The first little bit made me angry enough that I feel I need to address it now. The rest of her dissertation will be explored at another time…when I can stomach it. So, about the first part:

Dear DCSD Families:

I hope you are enjoying a great school year. I would like to update you on a couple of important topics. These include an education campaign, Dr. Tony Wagner’s visit to the District this week, and positve budget news.

Privately Funded DCSD Education Campaign
First, I wanted to let you know that over the coming weeks you are going to see positive commercials and potentially other materials regarding the District. A few months ago, the District/Board of Education (BOE) received a grant from The Daniels Fund to fund an education campaign about all of the great things happening in DCSD. This aligns to one of the primary goals of my teacher advisory group. They are passionate about the need to better inform the community about the great work happening in our District. As a result, they are working on a few projects of their own to celebrate greatness in our District. Our schools are excited by the synergy being created around this goal. Again, these positive commercials about the District are being funded by private donations, not the District or taxpayer dollars.


Okay…here are my issues briefly:

• The money for the campaign came from the Daniels Fund. Hmmm, let’s see…. where does the Daniels Fund send its money?

  • Hundreds of thousands (yes, hundreds of thousands!) of dollars to DCSD to defend the illegal voucher program.
  • The Employment Policies Institute run by Berman & Co received $342,725 for “a K-12 Education Campaign”
  • The Independence Institute (for their Ed Policy Center) got $50,000
  • Colorado Succeeds (for “Grading Schools A-F”): $450,000
  • They provided $500,000 total general operating expenses to six charters and $325,000 expansion money to 2 charters.
  •  Teach for America (the ones that train teachers in a 3-week crash course) got $500,000
  • And a whopping $1,382,500 for the Stand for Children Leadership Center for their Public Education Campaign
  • Oh, and lookie there, they gave $45,000 for the “Waiting for Superman – DVD Phase.”

• Why does the ad  look like a toothpaste commercial.  All that happy, smiling, happiness from Fagen…so much smiling, it’s kinda creepy.  But I digress….

• Why does DCSD need an ad campaign in the first place? Since when does a school district need to advertise? Here’s a better term: propaganda.

More later….

What I’m Reading: “Revolt of the Rich”

The American Conservative | Revolt of the Rich

“…the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot.”

Here are some highlights for those of you with short attention spans (yes, you):

“Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?”


“The objective of the predatory super-rich and their political handmaidens is to discredit and destroy the traditional nation state and auction its resources to themselves. Those super-rich, in turn, aim to create a “tollbooth” economy, whereby more and more of our highways, bridges, libraries, parks, and beaches are possessed by private oligarchs who will extract a toll from the rest of us. Was this the vision of the Founders? Was this why they believed governments were instituted among men—that the very sinews of the state should be possessed by the wealthy in the same manner that kingdoms of the Old World were the personal property of the monarch?”

While the author does not talk specifically about public education, this gives a peek inside the mindset of people like the billionaire Koch brothers and their quest to privatize education.