Wednesday, 24 June 2015

THE WALMARTIZATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE USA AND ABBOTT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS TO CHANGE AUSTRALIA'S UNIVERSAL EDUCATION SYSTEM

In recent times, Networkers will have heard of the proposals put forward to the Abbott Government which would impact the Australian idea and ideal of a state-run universal education system which is free and secular. I have received to-day the letter which is published below, 24 June 2015, and I believe I can see in this American document the seeds of the proposals before the Abbott Government.

BACKGROUND ON AUSTRALIAN INVOLVEMENT WITH WALMART
Over the years, The Network has published a number of posts relating to Walmart and to the former Woolworths CEO and Walmart Board Member, Roger Corbett.  Corbett, a former CEO of Woolworths, is well known across corporate circles in Australia and sits on a variety of corporate boards.  When Corbett retired from his position at Woolworths, it was expected that his next-in-line, Greg Foran, would fill his shoes.  This did not happen.  Greg Foran was passed over for his own next-in-line.  It was only a short while before Foran resigned from Woolworths. A short while later and Foran surfaced at Walmart head office in Arkansas, USA. A short while later, Foran was in China fixing up some very serious problems there.  Here are links which will give an idea of the changes Foran wants to bring to Walmart.

Walmart is notorious for the fact that a full-time worker can still have to survive on food stamps (American welfare/social security payments).  Foran, on appointment, announced that wages would be increased.  Gender and race discrimination have been part and parcel of working life at Walmart.  If you are black, progression has been difficult. If you are a woman, progression has been difficult. If you are black and female, forget progression!  This appears to be changing too.

Now, in 2015, Woolworths is behind the eight-ball in Australia with Aldi and Coles the forerunners. Things have not been going well for Woolies.  People are being laid off and the CEO (appointed instead of Foran) has stepped down.  Now the question is being asked - Will Greg Foran return to lead Woolworths out of its dire straits?

It is unlikely that the CEO of Walmart has anything to do with the Walton Family Foundation mentioned below. Networkers will note reference to "charter schools".  Here is one definition of such schools.  It is not clear - yet - what is the exact expectation to be crystallised from the proposal to the Abbott Government.  However, it is fair to say that Abbott and/or his supporters are considering changes to the Australian public education system which will take it away from the system that Australians have known and of which they are justifiably proud.  

Making Change At Walmart info@changewalmart.org via bounce.bluestatedigital.com 

05:09 (16 hours ago)

Making Change at Walmart
Dear Brigid,


Apparently, the Waltons aren’t satisfied with owning the largest low-wage employer in the country and being the richest family in the world.
They’ve also been working (and by “working” we mean “spending”) overtime to undermine America’s K-12 education system.
A new report out today from Cashing in on Kids shows the Walton Family Foundation is spending billions to implement a hardcore ideological agenda of replacing public schools with a privatized system that will be open to exploitation by private corporations.
To put it succinctly, the Waltons are hell-bent on the “Walmartization” of public education.
In addition to the billions spent by the Walton Family Foundation in pursuit of this agenda, members of the Walton family have funneled millions of dollars to education-related ballot measures and politicians who back their agenda.
Stop the Walmartization of America’s public schools.
Tell the Waltons to hold charter schools accountable.
Sign the petition here.
Lest there be any doubt, the Waltons’ meddling in education policy seriously threatens America’s historic commitment to the principle of free and equal access to public education.
As the new report reveals, the Walton Family Foundation puts their money behind reforms that undermine the promise of universal public education in three key ways:
  • By diverting taxpayer dollars from public schools to privately operated schools that are not required to admit and educate all students.
  • By supporting efforts to close down public schools in poor neighborhoods and lay off experienced teachers in order to make room for privately-operated schools staffed by recent college graduates with only 5 weeks of teacher training.
  • By blocking legislation to ensure public oversight and accountability of privately-operated schools funded with taxpayer dollars.
To add insult to injury, the Waltons (who collect $8.5 million/day in stock dividends from low-wage Walmart) claim their education reform agenda will help lift children out of poverty.
Of course, if the Waltons really care about lifting children out of poverty, they can act today – right now – to implement a $15/hour minimum wage at the country’s largest private employer, Walmart.
We’re waiting...
In the meantime, click here to sign the petition, and share it on social media.
Tell the Walmart heirs to hold charter schools accountable.
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