Monday, April 21, 2014

Corporate Takeover of US Education

And so the corporate takeover of American education continues. This time it is not at all subtle. Company names and logos are now embedded in standardized tests in just the same way they are placed in movies. Interestingly, this is happening in NY State which some months ago launched its EngageNY website which is a vast collection of resources that must have cost a fortune to construct. One now has to wonder if there as money donated to the construction of this "educational resource" in return for product placement in the tests being used to measure student achievement.  This is the same resource where teachers are required to teach using a stopwatch to time lessons so that all the material can be covered regardless of whether students understand what they are learning. I've mentioned Ken Sider's eloquent response to this before.

Another example of the corporate takeover of Education, this time in the pre-service teacher arena, is the ETS company's plan to market their pre-service teacher portfolio assessment product. ETS already controls entry into the student teaching experience through its Praxis tests. Now it will control the exit process and subsequent recommendation for licensure. The next step, of course, will be the marketing of extensive course-work materials to Departments of  Education at colleges and universities designed specifically to help students navigate the ETS Praxis and Portfolio processes.

Corporations are not the only human endeavor getting involved  in public schools and Education. There is, currently, a major investigation taking place in the UK into a "Trojan Horse" takeover of public schools in the city  of Birmingham. 

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