New Spotlight column: Are Charter Schools the Next Goldmine for Billionaires?

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In 1967’s classic film, “The Graduate,” young Benjamin (the graduate of the title) is given some advice by a friend of his father’s who wants to make sure the boy cashes in on a burgeoning business opportunity.

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

If “The Graduate” were being filmed today, however, Mr. McGuire would offer two words of advice: charter schools.

That punch line owes everything to anti-education reformers, who are escalating the rhetoric around one of their most successful talking points. To wit: charter school advocates and operators are in it for the money, gold-diggers chasing the next iPad or hula-hoop on their way to investment heaven.

There are two holes in this theory: public schools already rely on the private sector — no untapped market there — and charter schools are a terrible business model.

Read the rest here.

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