School Privatization in DC

Over the last several decades, public education has been under attack by corporate and private entities looking to profit from K-12 education. In this session of Socialist Night School, we will explore the tactics and history of the corporate-funded political group Democrats for Education Reform, and the funding, spending, and influence that has allowed them to advance the school privatization project here in DC. This session was led by Laura Fuchs and Nathan Luecking.

Laura Fuchs has been teaching in DC Public Schools at HD Woodson HS in Ward 7 since 2007. She quickly learned so-called “Ed Reformers” were not to be trusted when Michelle Rhee started systematically defunding her school. Currently serving as the Secretary of the Washington Teachers Union, she also chairs the WTU’s Committee on Political Education since 2014, going up against DFER many times.

Nathan Luecking has been a School Social Worker in DC schools since 2011 and has been at Anacostia High School in Ward 8 since 2014. Nathan is a delegate for 1199 SEIU and a member of their Political Action Committee, and is a founding member of the Mayor’s Office Coordinating Council on School Mental Health Expansion. He is a Metro DC DSA member and did opposition research for the Metro DC DSA-endorsed School Board candidate Emily Gasoi, kicking off his obsession with the seedy underbelly of corporate education reform.

Below, you will find a recording of the session and a recommended reading list.

Reading List

The Untold History of Charter Schools by Rachel Cohen

The Educational Legacy of Ronald Reagan by Gary K. Clabaugh

The Racist Origins of Private School Vouchers by Chris Ford, Stephenie Johnson, and Lisette Partelow

The Racial Achievement Gap, Segregated Schools, and Segregated Neighborhoods – A Constitutional Insult by Richard Rothstein