There are 3 education questions that, when answered or dodged, tell all about a politician’s stance on public education:
Our children deserve our political protection as much as our face-to-face protection in the classroom.
It is time for Oklahoma teachers in even larger numbers to claim what we know from what we see every day in the classroom. That view is very different from that of lawyer legislators or corporate chieftains.
Does eliminating the Common Core really solve our biggest problems here in Oklahoma? Far from it.
I’ve been acquainted with Governor Mary Fallin since she was my District 85 rep way back at the end of the 1980s. She only accepts temporary defeat.
Count on her to be back with the same commitments to standards, charter schools, and testing as a vector of attack on public schools.
She has signed this bill promising, “Superintendents, educators, parent, public policy officials, Superintendent of Education, employers, citizens.” But there’s one more thing that she did not mention.
Power Shift from the SDE to the Legislature
The bill that was signed provides for the legislature itself to have the power to make changes to the standards as they see fit without any recourse for the SDE or those who wrote them. This means that any number of wacky ideas can make it into the those standards once all of those other folks work hard to develop them. Not a good scenario, is it?
Remember that the language that is being used is not just “repeal”, but “repeal and replace“. That’s right, the commitment to a centralized laundry list of standards that will be used to develop new tests is right there and being implemented today.
And it is a mistake to believe that getting rid of the Common Core standards will get rid of tests and the current administration’s commitment to using tests to measure “quality”. At the same news conference where Fallin gave reasons for signing the bill, SDE spokesperson Tricia Pemberton said, “We’re going to have to cobble a new test together.”
Will Change of Supt. Change Anything? Maybe. Maybe not.
I have criticized Supt. Janet Barresi in earlier posts here, here and here. And so I look forward to seeing what will happen on June 24th when primaries decide which candidates each party will run for state offices.
But will removing Barresi really change anything if the new superintendent taking office next year is just as committed to arbitrary standards, high-stakes testing, and school-shaming from those tests? It won’t.
And if that person is from the Republican Party and gets their money and support, will there be a commitment to make decisions and have a process that starts with educators first, or will organizations like ALEC have a large influence because that’s what the party wants?
Let’s move away from the partying about the repeal of the Common Core and start working toward what replace means.
Questions for the Candidates
Here are some ideas for questions that should be asked at any candidate forum for State Superintendent of Schools:
1. Do you support using standards that are established by other organizations outside of Oklahoma?
2. Do you support using standardized tests graded out-of-state that measure a student’s performance only on one day of a school year?
3. Do you support expansion of charter schools from their current number and status?
4. What would you do to promote the increase of funding for education in Oklahoma?
The current dysfunction with so many charter schools and testing efforts is tied to investors who are trying to make education into a profitable business venture.
In a very well documented story published just a few weeks ago in the Huffington Post, “Why Hedge Funds Love Charter Schools”, Hofstra University professor Alan Singer shows the many benefits that are lining up for investors in companies that develop private charter schools, especially for depressed neighborhoods inhabited by the poor.
And so to investors who have not dealt with the mysteries of the real education process, this looks like a tremendous new market that just has yet to be tapped.
There is the same urge to raid public education much in the same way that corporate raiders like Mitt Romney/Bain Capital, T. Boone Pickens and others did to solvent corporations in the 1980s-90s.
What Investors are Missing
But, really, can hedge funds game education-related institutions like corporate raiders did to corporations in those years turning huge profits for the raiders? They have tried over the last decade; but, it hasn’t worked so far. That’s why charter schools are failing at such alarming rates. That’s why testing schemes are failing and losing the confidence of educators and the public at such a fast and large rate.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, This is What Happens When Bankers Run Public Schools, charters are going belly up with regularity, in one case just 30 days away from the end of their school year.
What investors don’t realize about education is that effective education has many more human mysteries than most regular business ventures. It involves a critical mass of trust and effort being formed between the host community, school administrators, teachers and the students. It is a unique and delicate circle that cannot be achieved by a company that is seeking short-term gains by taking over public institutions and hiring nominally committed teachers hired on the cheap.
A sign of the extreme hubris of investors who have never spent one night planning a lesson is that they believe that they can just import the usual corporate methods into education and turn it from a public good into a market of competing private entities.
I Have Witnessed How Hard It Is
I have seen the public, non-profit part of education up close, and I have seen the for-profit part of education up close, too.
In my teaching career I have spent 16 years as a public school teacher. Four summers out of those were spent grading essays for the for-profit Educational Testing Service for the AP U.S. History exam. Another 2 years have been spent as an online teacher for a for-profit online service that contracted to public schools and charters. Currently, I am an ESL teacher for a community college in Oklahoma City.
So I have seen many aspects of the education process. And what I have seen is an attempt to turn education into a commodity that is sold using cost-saving measures and debt leverage.
In the case of the ETS, they make a profit by huge volume and having developed a reputation for delivering a reliable service to a narrow slice of the whole education effort. Even then, they come precariously close to failing in certain years.
In the case of the online service that I worked for, they worked hard and made a lot of good moves. However, eventually they had to write off a huge uncollected lump of fees that were not paid by bankrupt charters that had been loosely regulated, if at all. Their parent corporation took the write-off, and then sold them to another similar company. Time will tell if that venture will work.
Five Big Reasons
From a business standpoint, corporations simply cannot replace public schools without depending on the same or even higher levels of tax dollars, the same methods being used in public schools, and a reduction/elimination of accountability. Corporate market efforts just won’t deliver ethical, reliable, consistent, quality education for less as they promise. Why not? Let’s look at five big, systemic reasons:
1. Education cannot be stored in a warehouse until the market works in the favor of the vendor.
Children grow every minute of every day and they must have continuity of delivery right now. There is no holding and then releasing of money and inventory when the time is right. In education, the right time for delivery is now.
2. Education is not a product, it is a process that uses products.
Yet, it doesn’t even have to have those products to work. Books can be borrowed and shared. Many schools in the poorest parts of the US and other countries just use information imparted by the teacher. As long as the human capital of the teacher is there, that is the key.
3. Education cannot be controlled to quality standards in the ways that a manufactured product or simple service can be.
Engineers can determine if an auto part meets engineering standards. Education cannot be measured successfully in the same way. That’s why we are seeing fundamental failures in testing schemes at present.
4. Machines will never be able to do what teachers do, not completely.
Effective teaching involves the teacher’s discernment and their relationship with the student. It is more likely to program a machine to take the place of an engineer than a teacher.
5. Not just anyone can teach, and so labor becomes a bigger issue than market-driven efforts can conquer.
A consistent, trained, monitored teacher corps whose prime loyalties are to the public, have proven to be critical to effective education in the U.S. and other countries over the long haul.
Teach for America is jokingly called “Teach for a Year” for good reasons. No matter how bright the person who goes through that program, it still takes years of experience to develop that critical ability to discern what each unique student needs and then deliver it effectively. And so, those clearly smart young people see and understand that, and quickly leave for other professions or go into charter school administration.
Public Schools Are Public for a Reason
To hear hedge fund managers and investors talk, one would believe that the only reason why we don’t have a thriving education market made up of private corporations right now is either because people in the past were just stupid or the Communists among us have secretly sabotaged those efforts.
Neither is true.
What leaders over the years found was that public education is a public good like effective policing and fire protection. In U.S. history all three have been tried as private efforts and they didn’t work. Why? When profit motives drive private efforts in those three public goods, they become inconsistent, corrupt, and ineffective. Private efforts allow society itself to suffer.
That suffering is both unnecessary and unacceptable.
In spite of assurances, the testing company hired for testing Oklahoma elementary students is using highly suspect methods.
Currently, writing tests still must be hand graded by real people sitting in a room somewhere. There is little known about who they are and how well they have been trained, especially since book companies have jumped into the testing business only in the past several years.
After having seen first-hand just how much effort it takes to produce a consistent grading process on a massive numbers scale, I cannot believe that these test scores are valid.
My Experience as a Grading Hired Gun
I have four years of personal experience at grading essays for a large service, the Educational Testing Service, which has scored the SAT and the now large array of Advanced Placement course exams each year. Unlike the service that is grading the elementary essays, they put a remarkable amount of effort into grading essays.
Let’s, look at just how much effort and expense goes into a good, credible essay-grading process:
For the grading of essays for AP exams, thousands of teachers fly in ahead of time and engage in rigorous training for several days on the specific questions that they will be scoring.
Readers are organized into a table of 10 readers. Those readers are made up of half high school AP teachers who have graded their students’ essays all year, the other half are college profs who teach the college course that the high school AP course mirrors.
The ETS has a very good quality control system in place that they have perfected over the decades, using table leaders who back-grade some of their readers’ scoring and huge servers to check for grading consistency of those essays at the end of each day.
Actual grading trends of each reader, each table of readers, and each table leader, is checked against the larger numbers of the reading of that same exam question. It is impressive how they can detect when a reader, table, or table leader are drifting in their scores
But, that is the elite process of essay-grading that is not matched by any other company. The money made from fees that students and school districts pay for that testing is lucrative business; but, cannot be done on the cheap. If their reputation ever starts to suffer, the money will go away like a puff of smoke.
Even with all that impressive effort, it is still a human effort that has its quirks. No college slices a test score so thinly that the student is judged as pass/fail.
Which leads us back to Oklahoma and the complete mess of the 5th and 8th grade writing tests. There is not credibility in the process of testing Oklahoma’s 5th and 8th grade writing.
Undeserved Bad Reputation of Oklahoma Elementary Kids and Schools
Because of my experiences at seeing just how delicate the essay test grading process really is, I have not been able to believe that an old text book hustler company like CTB/McGraw-Hill could develop a testing process with integrity over just a few years like they have.
Earlier this weekend, two education blogs, Oklahoma Education Truths, and Rob Miller’s A View From the Edge raised serious questions about the test results from the standpoint of statistics and reviews of the scored exams.
For some impressive specific details about why the tests are suspect, see yesterdays post in Miller’s blog showing how the tests are going wrong.
Today The Oklahoman and The Tulsa World ran a story about how more and more elementary and middle school teachers, principals, and their superintendents are raising serious questions about the quality controls of CTB/McGraw-Hill who have the contract with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to grade writing tests of our 5th and 8th graders.
A host of schools across the state say their fifth- and eighth-grade writing test scores are deeply flawed, but state education officials are standing by the scores issued by controversial vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill.
After discovering abnormally high rates of students receiving the same scores, school officials all over the state are questioning whether the company’s readers properly scored the tests. They also question widespread reductions in scores for “plagiarism” for students they say simply followed instructions to cite directly from reading passages.
Local school officials raised concerns with the vendor and the Oklahoma Education Department in a meeting May 28 but were shocked by the responses they received.
“We have been told all we can do is request a re-score, but if the testing vendor decides not to change the score, we have to pay $125,” said Rick Cobb, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at Moore Public Schools.
“At $125 a pop, 80 tests alone would be $10,000. No district in Oklahoma has $10,000 to throw around right now, but we want the kids to get the scores they deserve.”
Clearly there are problems, yet the SDE doubles down on the process, not because it holds water, but because among Republican political consultants who are advising Supt. Janet Barresi, doubling down works when Republicans are wrong.
It’s time for a change.
Having been in the Oklahoma public school classroom for 16 years, and many of those in the alternative ed classroom, I know that I am always looking for that one good thing that a student has done today. One will do. That’s it. We teachers are just wired that way.
And so it is natural for us to see one good vote from our representative or senator, praise them for it, and give them a pass on 10 bad votes that actually work against public education, especially in funding.
But to allow our legislators to use a one-good-vote approach and get by with it is a disservice to educational efforts in Oklahoma. It is also a disservice to the legislators. How?
Some may actually want to be more balanced in their voting, but in the absence of any other pressure, they are going to vote the way that lobbyists for those corporate interests tell them to vote.
So, the most cynical ones need to know that we are watching, and the earnest ones need to be able to point to our pressure as a way of holding off the corporate lobbyists.
There are several good ways to keep track of voting records when making your decision on how to vote in the upcoming primaries on June 24th.
- Use the tools and general information on the website for the Oklahoma Policy Institute which has a track record of providing hard information on legislative matters.
- The Bill Tracker tool on that website is an extremely good way to keep up with matters in the legislature when it is in session and for research in between.
- Use the Bill Search feature on the web site for the Oklahoma Legislature.
Just using those tools alone will allow you to keep up with how your particular legislator voted in this last session.
One Vote In Full View, Another Gets in Under the Radar
Here is one comparison that is very important to seeing if your legislator is consistent in voting for public education and public services:
Public education and the children, parents, and teachers of Oklahoma achieved a big win on House bill 2625 – 3rd Grade Retention, authored by Republican Representative Katie Henke.
It originally passed 89-6 in the House and 43-1 in the Senate. The override of Gov. Fallin’s veto passed 79-17 in the House and 45-2 in the Senate.
During the debate, Representatives Henke, Casey, and Nolan wrote an opinion piece for the Tulsa World opposing automatic 3rd grade retention for students who did not pass the one-time, one-day test. Great!
But, lurking in the shadow of all that passion of the big win, and sliding in under confusion due to the same numbers being in this bill, there was House bill 2562 – “Gross Production Tax Cut”. Here is information provided by the Oklahoma Policy Institute.
It would make permanent an incentive that had originally been given for horizontal drilling, and was set to expire next year. Now most drillers use that technique as a matter of course. After the expiration, the production tax would have moved back up to its original rate of 7%, which is the same rate used in neighboring states.
That bill, signed into law today by Gov. Fallin, offered a permanent tax break for Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry that is already flush with cash that they liberally spread around during races for the House and the Senate. It also deprives Oklahoma public services, like public education, of necessary funds in a completely manufactured crisis of funding for Oklahoma government.
The bill passed 61-34 in the House, and passed 23-22 in the Senate.
So, how did Henke, Casey, and Nolan vote? Henke was excused from the floor that day and Casey and Nolan voted against the bill. To me that’s a good example of consistency in voting. Way to go!
How did your legislators, representative and senator, vote on these two bills?
First, you can look up who they are here.
3rd Grade Retention Votes
Click this link for the voting list for the individual legislator votes on HB2625 – 3rd Grade Retention.
(There are problems with the Senate publication of the vote on the last reading of the bill and their later override.)
Gross Production Tax Cut Votes
Click this link for the voting list in the House on HB2562 – Gross Production Tax Cut (Look for the vote on the measure itself, not the vote to make it an “Emergency” measure.)
Click this link for the Senate vote on HB2562.
No More Passes for One-time Show Votes
If they voted for the 3rd Grade Retention bill and the override of Fallin’s veto when the heat was on, good for them.
But, if they voted to give a big early Christmas gift to oil and gas donors in a bill passed at the very end of the session, then it’s time for them to hear from you. They voted to deprive public education and other services in Oklahoma of necessary funds in a time when Oklahoma’s economy is booming.
Decide now. No more passes.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma State School Superintendent Janet Barresi are all for parents having plenty of options to make choices for their children’s education, until they are not for it.
Fallin and Barresi experienced a ripping defeat in the overwhelming vote in both the House (79-17) and the Senate (45-2) to override Fallin’s veto of HB 2625. That bill, turned law today, allows parents, the teacher, and a reading specialist to come to a decision about promoting a child from the 3rd to the 4th grade.
A so-called reform law passed in a previous year took control of 3rd to 4th grade promotions out of everyone’s hands and placed it solely on a one-day, one-time standardized test. Never mind what that student had done during the rest of the school year.
So, after a day of lobbying hard outside of both chambers, the most votes that the Fallin and Barresi staffs could round up to support the veto were 17 in the House and 2 in the Senate. Oops.
Congratulations to the House, and the Senate for an amazing show of bipartisanship and reason.
First Governor Fallin’s office released an angry statement excoriating anyone who was for the bill, especially the representatives and senators who voted overwhelmingly to override her veto. It was the usual blah, blah, blah of “failing our children”, meaning that we are not punishing them enough for being on an IEP, or for being English language learners, or being poor, etc.
Then Barresi stole the show with her own statement that had this:
Today’s action is a pathetic and outrageous step back and returns us to a failed system of social promotion that has served the education establishment and little else. I applaud Gov. Fallin for her steadfast support of our children. Her veto was absolutely the right thing to do, and the legislature’s override of it was absolutely the wrong thing to do.
How dare we take the control of a child’s education out of the hands of a corporation that sells millions of dollars worth of tests to Oklahoma!
And then we gave it to parents and teachers and people who actually professionally know about the science of reading! Pathetic and outrageous!
But parental control has not always been anathema to Fallin and Barresi. In fact, they were stoked about it, until their corporate handlers told them this week to stay with the plan of blaming teachers and showing just how bad public schools were. That meant flip-flopping on that parent choice thing.
In the past several years we have heard them repeating well rehearsed lines developed by the Heritage Foundation about “school choice“, which is meant to help our poor, suffering parents by allowing them to just choose any school that they want and have complete control of their child’s education.
In three earlier posts here, here, and here I showed how Barresi was attempting to push through Senate Bill 573 claiming the virtues of expanding charter schools throughout the state as offering parents more choices to help develop a better education for their children. With great effort from a number of Oklahoma education bloggers, the OEA, education activists, and concerned parents, that bill was defeated, much to the dislike of both Barresi and Gov. Fallin.
If nothing else, this flip-flopping on parent empowerment in their children’s education shows that what is presented as a deeply held principle is really just pandering to corporate interests, which are very large in this Republican-dominated Oklahoma government.
Principles are good until they are not good for the big money donors, then their paid-for politicians will just have to find a new set of principles and act like they have never wavered from them.
Pathetic and outrageous? Yes, Fallin and Barresi really are.
Yesterday’s showdown in the State House of Representatives over HB2625 and the widely circulated negative response from State Superintendent of Schools Janet Barresi said much about where her loyalties lie, where the attacks originate, and what should be done next by teachers who teach, know, and love their students.
House Bill 2625 Passes
The current law gives extraordinary weight to a test given on one day at the end of the third grade and determines whether each student is retained or promoted to the fourth grade. Forget everything else that the student has achieved during the year.
The HB2625 was authored by Katie Henke, R-Tulsa, and is described in today’s report by The Oklahoman:
“Henke’s bill, as amended by the state Senate, would create a two-year window during which students who score unsatisfactory on the test could still be promoted if they can obtain the unanimous recommendation from a team consisting of the student’s parents or guardians, the student’s reading teacher for the past year, a reading teacher at the next grade level, the school principal and a certified reading specialist.”
It passed yesterday and is on Gov. Fallin’s desk waiting here action. She has until the day before the last day of this legislative session to sign it.
Barresi on the Attack
The latest of a long string of attacks was on May 9th when Supt. Barresi released scores and numbers of pass/fails to the media before local districts had the chance to talk to students and parents. Some superintendents were still waiting on the phone or the SDE website for scores when the media started calling about their scores. It revealed a zeal to openly attack public schools and shame those districts who did not do well, no matter what the social circumstances of their students. This account of the negative treatment of Crutcho Schools by KFOR in Oklahoma City because of that SDE PR stunt is only one example of the damage done by an outfit very focused on harming public schools.
Who sent Janet Barresi to the helm of the Oklahoma State Department of Education? It wasn’t the teachers. Several legislators have said that it is widely known among them that only around 30% of Oklahoma teachers voted in the last elections and others before that. More on that below.
Instead, Barresi was swept into office by a tide of anti-government, vote-against-Obama sentiment that was heavily funded by corporate interests and coordinated by ALEC and other national groups determined to take over state capitols across the nation for a small minority of the wealthiest people in America.
Who Owns Barresi?
The biggest turnout was from those voters who were mad about two things: having that black president in the first place, and that he was running again. They made sure to turn out the vote against him and just about everything and everyone who they suspected of not hating President Obama. The results showed an even more red state than in the 2008 elections. It had down-ticket impact on every other race in the election, including Barresi’s.
She will always be owned by the corporate interests that sent her to the SDE in the first place. That is a simple truth. The phone calls that she is sure to answer are from coordinators at Governor Fallin’s office, ALEC, and right-wing think tank Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. The rest of us will have to leave a message. They may get back to us this term. Or maybe not.
What are those interests? As I pointed out in a previous post, massive amounts of money have been thrown into the state by private charter school corporations who want to replace public schools with private corporate schools controlled by millionaires in other states.
Also, right-wing political interests that have little to do directly with education, funded by oil and gas corporations, and out of state shadow donors, want an anti-teachers-union superintendent who will vigorously oppose one of the last several effective unions still standing in the state. What better attack vector can there be than controlling the State Superintendent of Schools? It was a very brilliant and darkly evil strategy that did not consider the children of Oklahoma in the least. It was and still is all about the political win for right-wing domination of Oklahoma government.
So the question is this: Do we want a State Supt. of Schools who is influenced by donors who live out of state and, for the most part, are not even known or identified? Or do we want a superintendent who is selected through a wide, democratic process of primaries and elections and supported by Oklahomans who operate in the open and are openly identified?
Teachers and others committed to a truly public education for all of Oklahoma’s children, and controlled by known Oklahoma interests, will need to get out and campaign for the candidates that they believe will best meet that goal. But it means being involved in the political process.
You don’t like politics, teachers? I know. Most of us don’t. We just want to teach. But, the argument that I made in this post still stands. It’s not an option whether you are involved in politics if you care about the children of Oklahoma. You must get out and vote. You must be engaged at some level.
How do you plan on engaging in this process in this election year? There are only five months until election day. Time to get busy.
Senate Bill 573 that would have made radical changes to the process of establishing charter schools under an appointed state-wide commission was defeated this evening. Nearly all Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans ended up being against the bill.
Two earlier posts in this blog, one from April 10th and another on the 14th, warned of the dangers with SB 573 that was indistinguishable from model legislation created by a national organization created to promote wide-open charter creation in all states.
More and more teachers, legislators, and parents, started to realize that the charter school bill, drafted and lobbied from outside of the state, had nothing to do with what was best for kids in Oklahoma, and everything to do with potential profits of for-profit corporations based outside of the state. Governor Mary Fallin continued to strongly promote the bill to the end.
Skepticism has grown recently even among those on the political right about State Superintendent Janet Barresi and her installing of top-level staffers from outside of the state who have a history of moving from one state to another to promote the agenda of for-profit education corporations.
This is what happens when a state hands over public education to investors and bankers: They use up the school start-up effort for financial reasons only and forget the potential for negative impact on the students if the school fails.
As reported by The Charlotte Observer, the most recent casualty is the StudentFirst charter school in North Carolina that abruptly announced last Friday that it would be closing its doors for good after numerous struggles with unethical administration and misuse of public funds. Here is a reaction from an involved parent that day:
The Republican-dominated North Carolina legislature made this possible by instituting sweeping reforms a few years back that took local control out of the hands of locally elected school boards and handed it over to a statewide appointed commission that was supposed to be a big improvement of accountability for charter schools in the state.
Sound familiar? That’s because Oklahoma is proposing the same model framework in SB 573. I described the details of that bill in my earlier post.
The framework gives all accountability to one appointed state-wide commission that controls which charters are allowed and which are to be disciplined and controlled. Most importantly, this commission’s power is mostly after-the-fact, rather than proactive. When school debt is allowed, then the potential for a huge waste of taxpayer funds that cannot be recovered becomes larger than any negative potential of the current set of controls in traditional education in the states.
Perhaps it’s because it takes a very different person to do well as a banker or hedge fund manager than it does to be a teacher or a principal.
The NC fiasco shows the built-in weakness of the model that has been passed around from red state to red state that allows charter schools to go into debt. When a school administration knows that it cannot take up the slack of its administrative failings with going deeper into debt, then they know from the beginning that they better bring their “A game” to work from day one.
1. Model legislation was passed.
2. Authorization of charters was given over to a central commission for the whole state. This was supposed to solve a number of problems that other states have seen by giving the authorization job over to special people with special training and talent to do that job of authorization and oversight. It didn’t work that way, just as it hasn’t worked in so many other states.
3. Due to bad administration at the school, financial problems started affecting the performance of the school. This shows that money actually does matter in public education and has a profound impact on the performance of a school.
4. Once word got out of financial difficulties, many parents pulled their students as soon as they could and moved to other schools.
No problem, right? Wrong. What I heard in so many of my struggling students’ stories (and especially when I taught alternative school) was that things started falling apart when they started moving from school to school. Participation in a school has to do with consistency, relationships, and continuity of expectation. Going to school is not like walking into your favorite restaurant or clothing store. School is less a place to be shopped than a relationship to be developed.
And this is the big difference between the way that a corporate raider thinks about school and the way that an experienced teacher or principal thinks about school. Teachers know that school is not a place, it is a relationship.
Conclusion: So, we can’t just do speculative work in one charter and – oh, well – if it doesn’t work we just offer a new “store” for the kids to shift over to. It doesn’t work that way. Schools are not stores and students are not customers. That sounds obvious to educational professionals; but, clearly it is not so obvious to bankers who want to make big bucks in the education business.