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When an Ayn Rand devotee runs a school system

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(Jacobin magazine) — You can learn a lot about a person by whose portrait they have on their wall. Bernie Sanders hung up a photo of American socialist leader Eugene V. Debs. Martin Luther King worked under a picture of Mohandas Gandhi.

 

And Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Forrest Claypool? He chose a shot of Ayn Rand, the founder of Objectivism whose crusade against public education has helped animate a generation of market-possessed school “reformers.”

 

Claypool’s embrace of Rand and her uber-capitalist philosophy goes a long way in explaining why CPS came to the brink of a second teachers’ strike in four years.

 

“I think the thing that motivates me most is a fundamental belief in the individual. The individual, not the collective and not the state, is what matters,” he told the Windy City Times in 2005 when explaining Rand’s portrait in his office.

 

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