Senator Whitehouse and others have introduced legislation to amend the constitution so that corporations can not qualify as people who can give unlimited cash to campaigns. From Whitehouse’s press release:
In 2010, the Supreme Court concluded in a highly contentious 5-4 ruling that corporations deserve the same free speech protections as individual Americans, enabling them to spend freely from their corporate treasuries on campaign advertising.
“The flawed Citizens United decision allows corporations, including international corporations, to use their vast wealth to drown out the voices of the American people, and it allows them to do so anonymously from behind shell organizations,” said Whitehouse. “We must ensure that government works for the American people, not powerful corporations. The constitutional amendment we are introducing today will undo the Citizens United decision, putting people in charge as the Founders of our country intended.”
Given the shocking amounts of money flowing into elections now, including school board elections such as the recent Denver School Board elections in which the winners were mostly cash coffer candidates for oil companies and other powerful corporate interests, it is becoming glaringly apparent just how much damage the recent Supreme Court ruling has done to our election process. We are being inundated with corporate pressure to change our educational systems in ways that make everything “data-driven” and, in my opinion, strip much of the humanity out of education.
If you want to think about what might be done to improve education, I recommend reading Aaron Regunberg’s post that gives attention to the evolving “Student Bill of Rights” — a student-driven movement to define what students want and need to succeed educationally. Interestingly, there is nothing in their bill about needing more data-driven analysis and standards that declare whole systems (usually systems in poor urban areas) to be failures. The students come back to the basics: that they need good food, access to health care, and access to the full range of educational (including the arts and humanities) in order to benefit fully from their education.