Paladino and the School Privateers

Carl Paladino makes a living, in large part, as a hypocrite.

Forget how he makes noise about family values while himself being a babydaddy. Forget how his company makes a great deal of money being the state’s landlord here in Buffalo. Forget how he and his cronies lie, or how Paladino comports himself on the streets of Buffalo like a vagrant escaped from the asylum, only with a Bimmer.

Carl Paladino is one of those ultra-conservative right-wing nutjob birther freaks who wants to completely dismantle public education in America. He doesn’t think teachers should make much more than minimum wage, he doesn’t think teaching is a profession that needs licensure or regulation, he rejects the Common Core and its 21st century curriculum, and he famously proposed during his disastrous gubernatorial run that inner-city kids should be sent off to state-run re-education camps.

Carl Paladino doesn’t hide his goal.

The solution is going to lie in the disassembly of the Buffalo Public School System. And we’re going to continue to do that until people smarten up. We’re going to open charter schools, we’re going to hopefully help the privates and the Catholics to become better and be able to take more kids. We’re supporting the closing of a number of Buffalo Public Schools and turning them into charters. That’s the game that we’re playing.

(Part of the Paladino playbook is to denigrate his opponents as stupid and corrupt; hence “smarten up”).

The Alliance for Quality Education promoted that quote, as well as a story about the money Paladino and his companies make as landlords for charter schools in Buffalo. In response, Paladino met with Buffalo News reporters and revealed to them details (but not to you – “transparency” is not in the Paladino playbook) about his charter school involvement, adding that his profits max out at 10% on his charter holdings, because “non-profit” is not in the Paladino playbook, even when children’s educations are at stake.

What’s fascinating to watch is this degenerate’s reaction when the lights are shone on him, and the public demands some minimal transparency. He lashes out viciously.

Elitists, led by self-promoting opportunists, in concert with Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore, ultra-liberal blowhard political whiners Marc Panepinto, Sean Ryan and Michael LoCurto, minority School Board members and their community leadership and other hypocrites, parasites and phonies, support the multigenerational tragedy of subjecting more than 30,000 children to the dysfunctional Buffalo Public Schools.

Setting aside for a moment that, when it comes to “blowhard political whiners”, there is ostensibly no better judge of that than Carl Paladino, who are these “elitists” at whom Paladino spits? Who are the elites who demand that kids be sent to dysfunctional schools, and cui bono, anyway?

For decades, we have spent billions fighting the cycle of dreadful poverty in our urban centers, yet it continues. With 46 out of 57 Buffalo Public Schools failing, the proficiency on state math and English standardized tests at 9 percent and 11 percent respectively, a graduation rate of 46 percent, (for black males, less than 15 percent) and terrible attendance and violence, the elitists want to preserve the status quo and deprive another generation of an opportunity for an education in an alternative to traditional public education. For them, the kids are not as important as black leadership empowerment. They thrive on keeping city kids hungry and uneducated, captives in urban centers, so they can be manipulated to vote for elitist causes.

Ah, the penny’s dropped. This “elite” of whom Paladino speaks is the group he more often refers to as the “sisterhood” – the group of predominately African-American females who lead the minority, anti-Paladino bloc on the Buffalo school board.

Blatant, bare racism is a well-established component of the Paladino playbook. Mansplaining / whitesplaining at the “sisterhood” is also something Paladino’s good at.

Let’s read on and see what Paladino’s argument is.

Charter schools are not perfect but they enjoy a much greater success rate than traditional schools. They are free from the constraints of union contracts.

There are much better and lower-risk development opportunities than charter schools with five-year licenses. When banks and other developers would not take the risk and the marginal return on capital, we decided it was more important to give thousands of kids an alternative opportunity to leave the cycle of poverty.

It’s time to say goodbye to these elitists and their cycle of poverty.

No, charter schools are not perfect. Neither are parochial, private, or public schools. Astonishingly enough, nothing is perfect. What’s interesting here isn’t the standard pro-charter pablum that Paladino parrots, but what’s missing. There’s nothing here about reducing class sizes, or increasing funding for community or social services. There’s nothing here about recruiting excellent teachers – on the contrary, being anti-teacher is well within the Paladino playbook. There’s nothing there about how Paladino’s charters – half of the Health Sciences Charter School, half of the Charter School for Applied Technologies, half of the Aloma D. Johnson Charter School, all of Tapestry Charter School, all of the West Buffalo Charter School, and all of the not-yet-opened Charter School for Inquiry – are performing compared to, e.g., traditional Buffalo public schools, private / parochial schools, and suburban public schools.

The notion that Carl Paladino is anywhere within view of “educating children” is, itself, laughably profane.

Paladino’s supposed interest in education is secondary to his hatred of unions. One of the principal reasons why charters do well has to do with parental involvement – you have to apply and put effort into getting a kid into a charter.  Furthermore, charters are no constrained by rules imposed on traditional public schools whereby the latter is required to take all comers, while the charter has much more freedom to pick and choose its student population. Instead of having a conversation about making all schools high-performing magnets for kids, we’re crafting a new style of segregation, not based on class or race, but based on luck. Luck of getting into a charter via lottery, luck of being born to a family that values education and is engaged in the process.

Instead of a system that lifts up all kids, Carl just wants to lift up the ones lucky enough to have parents who care. How tragic.

But make no mistake – Carl Paladino is on the board of a school district his kids didn’t attend, he is part of a majority bloc, he detests the teachers and their union, and he wants the kids to go to charter schools, on some of which he earns a profit.

Oh, and he thinks African-American females are the “elite”, but white Christian males like he are the downtrodden, all of a sudden.

3 comments

  • Gotta love Carl. Hates how black families can’t keep their shit together to raise kids properly while he fathers a bastard child thriough an affair, decries the poverty-rife conditions in the city while slumlording a good percentage of the vacant property and calls the school board full of “elitest” cliques while doing everything he can do establish the exact same thing with like-minded people.

    Lots of good people didn’t make it through the snowstorm for a wide variety of reasons. It’s a real shame Carl wasn’t one of them, especially since his disdain for traffic laws is well documented.

  • Paladino is a disgrace, he should know enough to be more eloquent in his condemnation of public schools. How dare he use hyperbole when faced with the onslaught of resources of a very powerful, controlling teachers union. Shame, shame, shame.

  • Pretty cool when you can roll around in a luxury suv with a guy like Larry Quinn calling teachers and union members clowns and phonies then cry about elitists ruining your life. If his conflicts of interest aren’t enough to remove him I think Carl will end up like that Board Member in Hamburg because he can’t control himself. And what’s even better is Quinn is every bit the hostile contemptuous elitist a hole Carl is but with no dysfunctional community support. I think he’ll get himself booted before Carl even.

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