Opting Out of the Education Reform Industry
Department or Administrative Unit
Educational Foundations and Curriculum
Big business has long been enamored of public education. Whether shaping systems of schooling along the lines of factory production, dictating what children should learn, or cultivating private-public partnerships to gain access to government monies, corporations and their owners have insisted on being key players in the formation of education policy and practice in the United States. Analysts estimate the value of the K-12 education market at more than $700 billion dollars. Beyond their calls for students and workers to adapt to the global capitalist economy through increased competition and "accountability" in public schools, business leaders crave access to a publicly funded, potentially lucrative market—one of the last strongholds of the commons to be penetrated by neoliberalism.… In an education industry dependent on market competition to increase profitability, there is no better tool to turn teaching and learning into products—ready to measure, compare, and sell—than the high-stakes standardized tests championed by the contemporary education reform movement.
Au, W., & Hollar, J. (2016). Opting Out of the Education Reform Industry. Monthly Review, 67(10), 29. https://doi.org/10.14452/mr-067-10-2016-03_3
Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine