Chris Lubienski shared an article in Forbes Magazine via Twitter about one of Sam Walton’s grandchildren who has made charter schools and the free market privatization of public schools her mission in life. And she certainly has the financial resources to have a strong impact. Carrie Walton Penner is the daughter of Wal-Mart company chairman, Rob Walton, and is an heir to the largest family fortune in the entire world ($165 billion — and I’m sure growing).
Of course, the Walton family would like for the world to ignore all the problems and lawsuits associated with their chain of retail stores. Workplacefairness.org documents Wal-Mart’s dubious employee practices. But that’s okay. The Waltons are going to save our public schools through free market strategies and competition between charter schools and traditional public schools. Maybe Carrie Walton Penner can invite all the governors and and big CEOs to Arkansas to set an agenda for our next phase of systemic education reform — like IBM CEO Lou Gerstner did at his headquarters in Palisades in 1996! That meeting brought us Achieve — future creators of the CCSS.
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