Thomas Pedroni, associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education was quoted in AlterNet, "How billionaire charter school funders corrupt education by making it like a business"

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Alter Net, 10/16

How billionaire charter school funders corrupt education by making it like a business

By Jeff Bryant

Our Schools interviewed Thomas Pedroni, an associate professor of curriculum studies at Wayne State University and a longtime observer of reform efforts in Detroit and Michigan. According to Pedroni, the school leadership network, especially in large, urban school districts, wields a cartel-like influence that seeks to wrestle school governance away from democratically elected school boards and outsource district management to private contractors, often in the ed-tech industry. These businesses frequently have close associations with colleagues in school reform circles that are directly connected to the Broad network or seek the network’s favor. The actions of these leaders are often disruptive to communities, as school board members chafe at having their work undermined, teachers feel increasingly removed from decision making, and local citizens grow anxious at seeing their taxpayer dollars increasingly redirected out of schools and classrooms and into businesses whose products and services are of questionable value. Due to the influence of the reform movement, school leadership has undergone a “reorganization,” according to Pedroni. In a phone conversation, Pedroni called school leaders who practice “market-based” approaches advocated by Broad and other reformers another effort aimed at “privatizing as much of the public system as possible.”