Yes, I have a subscription to Netflix, and yes, I am frustrated when everyone else who has a subscription logs on at the same time to watch House of Cards. But I am more frustrated when the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, has suggested that the problem with public education is local school boards. Hastings is a big supporter of charter schools and an investor in Rocketship Education, a charter school network.
There are times when local school boards can be maddening, but they are a function of our democratic society. I have been to Board of Education meetings in my town where issues are often contentious: teacher termination, school policies, book censorship, building improvements, class enrollment. Politics can exacerbate these contentious issues. Hastings claims that because charter schools have boards that are not political, not elected, they have “a stable governance” and this governances allows charter school boards to get better every year.
I enjoy the Netflix service, and I am willing to pay the subscription service, but in this instance, I am not voting with my purse. I am aware that Hastings is much like the manipulative characters in House of Cards, and there is a twinge of guilt in knowing that in paying for a subscription to Netflix, the result, in real life and on the screen, is fueling democracy under attack.