Oppose portfolio schools and privatization
March 24, 2019


Whereas, the drive to privatize public education continues to escalate through a multitude of new maneuvers; and

Whereas, Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, unveiled a plan to subdivide the school district into 32 networks using a portfolio model, while Oakland and 24 other districts across the country are part of a national network already using a portfolio model to reorganize their schools; and

Whereas, the portfolio model “posits treating schools like stock holdings and trimming the failures by privatizing them or closing them. The instrument for measuring failure is the wholly inappropriate standardized test. Testing and the portfolio model inevitably lead to an even more privatized system— especially in poor communities—that strips parents and taxpayers of their democratic rights.” (Tom Ultican); and

Whereas, portfolio districts can include public schools, charter schools, corporate service providers and “educational partners” that lead directly to school vouchers, and commercialize students and financialize schools; and

Whereas, a plethora of corporate and billionaire-funded, non-profit organizations such as The Cities for Educational Entrepreneurship Trust that defines itself as “a network of city-based education reform organizations, initiatives and foundations dedicated to accelerating the growth of entrepreneurial ventures” are heavily investing in reorganizing school districts and profiting as well from software programs that make it easy to attract parents to the portfolio model; and

Whereas, software programs that track personal and academic information about students throughout their entire education history such as the Hero K-12 behavior modification platform that documents students’ entire discipline records, the use of which Oakland parents protested because this information would be shared with a non-profit charter school group and be potentially available to data mining; and

Whereas, as seen with the historic UTLA strike, teachers and communities are increasingly ready to move beyond contract issues and fight against privatization;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the CFT both oppose the use of portfolio schools to reorganize school districts and support those locals and communities that are already doing so; and

Be it further resolved, that a CFT task force be created by June 15 to research, analyze, and prepare information for our members about portfolio districts and other new schemes to privatize education, and that materials be made available to our members on social media, and also for use in workshops on an ongoing basis.