Monday, September 19, 2005
Eli Broad, Joe Strummer and Me
Joe Strummer must be rolling over in his grave. I've got the Clash's London Calling blasting on my high tech HDTV entertainment system in my top floor room here in the Mandarin 'Oriental' Hotel [18 months old and already being touted as one of Washington DC's fanciest hotels]. The room overlooks the Jefferson Memorial which lights up like a big nite-light over the Potomac River and the Tidal Basin not far from the White House. The SF Giants arrive today for a series with the WA Nationals, but that's not the reason I am here either.
One of the world's richest men Eli Broad [82nd in the world, and 45th in the US according to Forbes] and his Broad Foundation have brought me and other school board presidents, superintendents, CEO's, and teachers union presidents out here to announce their Broad Prize - touted by the business community as the 'nobel' prize of urban school districts.
Besides San Francisco, the other 4 urban school district finalists include Boston, NYC, Norfolk VA, and Aldine Texas [near Houston].
Boston has been a finalist 4 times already, Norfolk 3 times and Aldine 2 times. This is SF's first time as a finalist. Each finalist district will be receiving $100,000 of college scholarships and the big winner gets a half a million dollars.
RE: Broad Foundation's 'broad net' of big business influence in school districts throughout the US - see Susan Ohanian's analysis from the book she co-wrote with SF Freedom School founder Kathy Emery - Why is Corp America Bashing Our Schools
An Excerpt from the Ohanian/Emery book
Emery's other writing
See also Oakland Education Assn teacher Jack Gerson's take on Broad's 'handpicking' of their overseer - Randy Ward - and the foundation's negative impact on urban districts in CA
And lastly, see CEJ's Alex Caputo Pearl on Broad/Riordan and their impact on LA's schools and working class communities and targetting of liberal and progressive school board members.
For a different analysis - Forbes did a feature on Broad called Educating Eli - 10/6/03 - www.forbes.com.
We will find out who has won the Broad Prize at a press conference Tuesday morning with Bush's Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and others.