Home > Uncategorized > Feds Mandate Closure or Substantial Reduction of Private Prisons… Will For-Profit Schools Be Next

Feds Mandate Closure or Substantial Reduction of Private Prisons… Will For-Profit Schools Be Next

Yesterday’s Washington Post featured an article by Matt Zaposki and Chico Harlan reporting on the Justice Department’s decision to require officials to ” either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope”. Why? According to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates the private prisons

…simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.

Is this a harbinger of future actions regarding privatized public schools? I sincerely doubt it, but I also wonder why it isn’t. If one looks at the offerings of some de-regulated for profit on-line “schools” they would draw a similar conclusion. Do they provide the same level of educational services, programs, and resources? Do they  save substantially on costs? Are they doing any better on any of the metrics used to measure conventional schools? Diane Ravitch just wrote a post on a recent audit of the Achievement School district in TN whose finances were described as “chaotic’. Do they provide the same level of educational services, programs, and resources? Do they  save substantially on costs? Are they doing any better on any of the metrics used to measure conventional schools? I’ve written several posts on Eva Moskovitz’ Success Academy charter schools in NYC and pose the same set of questions: Do they provide the same level of educational services, programs, and resources? Do they  save substantially on costs? Are they doing any better on any of the metrics used to measure conventional schools? The answer to these questions is NO, especially when one takes into account that these schools are diverting scarce tax dollars away from democratically operated public schools who serve all children from all homes. Maybe the Deputy Attorney General needs to look at what RTTT has done to the public school system. They might find the same disfunction, draw the same conclusions, and issue a similar mandate.

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