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  • © 2021

Dark Money and the Politics of School Privatization

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Illuminates the role of dark money in the expansion of education reform efforts

  • Reveals the inner workings of non-profit organizations aiming to influence ballot initiatives

  • Written accessibly to appeal to a wide range of readers, including researchers and policymakers

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-73264-6
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  • Own it forever
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Softcover Book USD 29.99
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Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxi
  2. Introduction: Deceiving Democracy

    • Maurice T. Cunningham
    Pages 1-12
  3. The Campaign of 2016

    • Maurice T. Cunningham
    Pages 13-40
  4. Boardroom Progressives or Rich People’s Movement?

    • Maurice T. Cunningham
    Pages 41-62
  5. Secret Funders: Oligarchs United

    • Maurice T. Cunningham
    Pages 63-83
  6. Political Fronts

    • Maurice T. Cunningham
    Pages 85-114
  7. Democrats for Education Reform and the Inside Job

    • Maurice T. Cunningham
    Pages 137-167
  8. Racial Perceptions, Racial Realities

    • Maurice T. Cunningham
    Pages 169-187
  9. After 2016: Money Never Sleeps

    • Maurice T. Cunningham
    Pages 189-230
  10. Back Matter

    Pages 247-282

About this book

This book goes deep behind the scenes of school privatization campaigns to expose the complex networks of funding that sustain these efforts - often hidden from the view of the public. Using the example of a 2016 Massachusetts charter school referendum, Cunningham shows how wealthy individuals support charter school expansion through so-called “social welfare” organizations, thereby obscuring the true sources of funding while influencing major public policy votes. With vast wealth and a political agenda, foundations have helped to reshape the reform landscape in urban education.

“Cunningham's book is a valuable guide to the dark money funding the privatization of our public schools. As a champion of transparency and accountability, his writings literally changed the outcome of an important election in Massachusetts. We need many more like him!” - Diane Ravitch, author of Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools

“This book offers a detailed description of an important state political battle between charter school supporters and opponents. Yet the work’s real strength lies in the author’s investigative reporting showing that political systems which are supposed to be transparent are anything but.” - Robert Maranto, Editor, Journal of School Choice

“Cunningham shows that when the billionaires behind privatization schemes are unmasked, they can be defeated. This urgent how-to story should be read, shared, and applied.” - Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

“Using Massachusetts as a case study, Cunningham explores the ways that plutocrats have begun to leverage dark money in their efforts to pull apart the last great vestige of public life in the United States: our public schools.” - Jack Schneider, co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School


Keywords

  • school privatization
  • education policy
  • charter schools
  • education reform
  • dark money
  • public policy
  • donors
  • school funders

Reviews

“Cunningham's book is a valuable guide to the dark money funding the privatization of our public schools. As a champion of transparency and accountability, his writings literally changed the outcome of an important election in Massachusetts. We need many more like him!” (Diane Ravitch, author of Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools)

“This book offers a detailed description of an important state political battle between charter school supporters and opponents. Yet the work’s real strength lies in the author’s investigative reporting showing that political systems which are supposed to be transparent are anything but.” (Robert Maranto, Editor, Journal of School Choice)

“Cunningham shows that when the billionaires behind privatization schemes are unmasked, they can be defeated. This urgent how-to story should be read, shared, and applied.” (Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America)

“Using Massachusetts as a case study, Cunningham explores the ways that plutocrats have begun to leverage dark money in their efforts to pull apart the last great vestige of public life in the United States: our public schools.” (Jack Schneider, co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School)

“In the next few years, most school reform action will happen not in Washington but in the states. This book offers a detailed description of an important state political battle between charter school supporters and opponents. That alone makes this book worth reading. Yet the work’s real strength lies in the author’s investigative reporting showing that political systems which are supposed to be transparent are anything but” (Robert Maranto, University of Arkansas and Editor, Journal of School Choice)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Political Science Department, University of Massachusetts Boston, Cambridge, USA

    Maurice T. Cunningham

About the author

Maurice T. Cunningham was Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA from 1999 through 2021. He is a co-founder of the popular MassPoliticsProfs.org blog. He has received awards for his work on dark money from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Dark Money and the Politics of School Privatization

  • Authors: Maurice T. Cunningham

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-73264-6

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-73263-9

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-73264-6

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXI, 282

  • Number of Illustrations: 2 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Education Policy, Educational Policy and Politics, American Politics, Public Policy, School and Schooling

Buying options

eBook USD 19.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-73264-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)