Laurene Powell Jobs’ Glitzy Projects versus School Reform that Is Basic and Essential


Here are two fascinating and radically contrasting articles on the subject of school reform. They tell us about the different ways people think about school reform, about the factors that determine which reforms begin to permeate the public mind, about what does or doesn’t seem to matter to reformers prescribing particular ideas, and about the long term political effects the language and framing by which policies are sold.

The first is David Montgomery’s Washington Post profile of Laurene Powell Jobs, her philanthropy—the Emerson Collective, and several of the Emerson Collective’s projects, including the XQ Institute and College Track. Laurene Powell Jobs is Steve Jobs’ widow, and among America’s tech-multi-billionaire philanthropists. Montgomery describes the way Powell Jobs has structured her philanthropy: “She set up the collective as a limited liability company rather than a foundation, not unlike the three-year-old Chan Zuckerberg Initiative established by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg. This…

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Betsy DeVos and the Covert Privatization of Grand Rapids Public Schools: Part III

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

(The following three part series, was written by Jack Prince. Jack is a retired educator with 30 years experience on the High School and college level. He spent 10 years as a teacher with the Grand Rapids Public Schools.)

Grand Rapids Schools sells its’ property at bargain prices. The Vandenberg building went for 400 thousand on a lot of nearly three acres. The lot alone is worth more than 400K. Shawnee Park was sold to a private Christian school for 50 K less than the appraised value in 2014.  After the contentious sale of Oakdale, Lexington, and Eastern schools, school board Vice President Maureen Slade said, “We learned our lesson, referring to the sale of the Shawnee Park and Hillcrest Schools. Evidently the lesson she referred to was gained after the Oakdale School ended up in a charter schools’ hands and was mentioned in an Feb. 11

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