Monday, February 20, 2012

Another Stunning Gubernatorial Appointment

Gov. Jan Brewer has appointed Craig Barrett, one-time president of Intel Corporation—a dominant Arizona presence—to the chairmanship of the recently formed Arizona Ready Education Council. The Arizona Ready Education Council is charged with spearheading reform in K-12 education in the state. Barrett also serves as president of Basis School Inc., a non-profit charter-school chain. In commenting on the condition of public K-12 education in Arizona, Barrett remarked: "We ought to be ashamed of ourselves."

This appointment ought not surprise anyone who understands the business of public education in Arizona. It is increasingly conceived of and operated as a business; and who better to advise on how a business runs than a business person.

That's old news. What's new—to me at least—is the fact that Craig Barrett was appointed to the Board of K12 Inc. on September 29, 2010. K12 Inc. is the biggest provider of full-time online schooling to nearly 300,000 children in the U.S. Those who read this blog will already be acquainted with the company. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has revenues of more than half a billion dollars annually, and was created with the help and participation of William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, who resigned from the K12 Inc. Board shortly after his gambling problem became public...and before the authored the ephemeral best-seller The Book of Virtues.

David Safier of Tucson, Arizona, is an indefatigable blogger on the story of K12 Inc. I highly recommend that persons interested in the fate of American public education should spend some time on his blog.

Gene V Glass
University of Colorado Boulder
Arizona State University

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