Monday, March 20, 2017

Corporate Reform: Turning a Profit at Public Expense - Living in Dialogue

Corporate Reform: Turning a Profit at Public Expense - Living in Dialogue:

Corporate Reform: Turning a Profit at Public Expense




By John Thompson.
I wish I didn’t have to write a positive review of Alex Molnar’s Dismantling Public Education: Turning Ideology into Gold.” But, as Molnar explains, the toxic effect of neoliberal, market-driven school reform provides an exceptionally clear example of privatization’s threat to America’s public wellbeing. So, as we wrestle with the new threats to our democracy that are posed by Trumpism, we have to come to grips with his persuasive account of how America’s democratic mission of public education was subordinated to corporate power and profits.
Molnar was born in 1946, at the beginning of the Baby Boom and the post-WWII economic boom. Although he’s much, much older than I am (I was born in 1953) he gets to the heart of the era’s educational matter when recalling:
Not being economists allowed us to naively imagine that since humankind had, for the first time in history, the productive capacity to eliminate material deprivation and the means to do so with ever fewer hours of labor, it would be necessary to develop education programs and curricula to help large numbers of people figure out how to best make use of their new-found leisure time.
Molnar cites a Swedish mother’s response to the invention of the washing machine:
We have loaded the laundry. The machine will make the work. And now we can go to the library.’ Because this is the magic: You load the laundry, and what do you get out of the machine? You get books out of the machines, children’s books.
My Oklahoma City principal made the same point when he took each of our elementary school classes to a special event in the nearby junior high school. We saw a documentary on technology and the predicted decline of the work week to as little as 15 hours. Our principal presented the case for what I later learned Corporate Reform: Turning a Profit at Public Expense - Living in Dialogue:

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