Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CORPORATE EDUCATION NATION

I have listened in and read some of the information being shared at the NBC Education Nation Summit.  They say it is NBC News' "initiative to engage the country in a solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in America."

After reading an article on the "Corporate Education Reform Movement" I wondered who the sponsors were of the NBC program - with the exception of the University of Phoenix which has some questionable practices and claims, they were mostly foundations with varying approaches and programs to aid education.

I was happy to see that the companies who produce data driven standardized tests and technology for the classroom were not in evidence - at least openly.  Why?  Here is a quote from Tom Watkins, one of the major "consultants" to those businesses:

Let's hope the fiscal crisis doesn't get better too soon  It'll slow down reform.

And why would that be?  Well, under the stress of budget cuts and the duress of more threatened, schools are turning to the products of these "Education Reform Corporations" in an attempt to make the changes demanded by the feds, the states and the politicians.  The schools can say "Look, we invested in all these tests and all these technology programs - see?  We reforming."

However, in their panic, they are ignoring the fact that the kids using the technology and taking the tests are not doing better.  There is no proof that the billions of dollars are improving basic learning.  But they sure are improving the bottom line of the companies which produce them.

So why is this the continued focus of political education reformers?  Follow the money. 

3 comments:

knittergran said...

That is for sure, and it's depressing!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

We could afford to keep educating our kids if we'd stop paying so damn much to test them.

yogurt said...

My kids are so frustrated - they know what a supreme waste of time most of this testing is. Catering to the weak students to the detriment of the stronger students should not be our education goal.