by David Safier
Note: So long as ex-Intel CEO Craig Barrett remains silent about sitting on the Board of Directors of K12 Inc., he's going to keep getting lots of ink pixels here at BfA. It's shameful that this self-styled education "expert" refuses to talk about the online schools his for-profit corporation runs, schools which give students substandard educations (student test scores trend very low). K12's Arizona school, Arizona Virtual Academy (over 4,000 students) is on academic probation with the state, and the corporation is being sued by its stockholders for misrepresenting students' academic achievement.
Barrett's latest. He gave $10,000 to the No on Prop 204 campaign, funded by a small handful of business people and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which have $85,000.
Barrett speaks nationally, even internationally, about education. He famously said he probably wouldn't have brought Intel to Arizona if the education system was in its current sad state. The Phoenix Business Journal article that wrote about his ten grand contribution says, "[Barrett] has long admonished Arizona leaders for not allocating enough funds to education, but said 204 isn't accompanied by the needed education reforms."
Translation: Our schools need more money, but only if Barrett gets to tell them how to spend it -- namely lots of the money for high performing high income schools and lots more for charter schools.
In fact, the people who drafted Prop 204 sat down with Barrett and others of his conservative "education reform" persuasion to try and hammer out a ballot initiative they all could sign off on. But while Barrett and his cronies promised compromise, what they meant was, "You compromise your principles while we hold our ground and get exactly what we want." When it was clear "compromise" wasn't a word in Barrett's working vocabulary, Prop 204 was drafted without his blessing, and he's opposed it from that moment on.