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Free Market Think Tanks and the Marketing of Education Policy…

May 8, 2011

This is a must-read article coming out of the University of Colorado at Boulder.  I think what is troubling me more and more these days are the self-identified “Democrats” or “Progressives” who are jumping all over right-wing think tank, and corporate business model ideas of education.

For some reason the “businessification” of education has won supporters on both sides of the aisle.  The “Failing Schools” mantra has, like a snowball rolling down-hill, gotten bigger as it moves along – it is taken as common knowledge in some circles that teachers are failing our kids.  What is never discussed are the kids themselves, their home lives, their support systems, their motivational levels and their families’ views on the importance of education.

Key Quotes:

"Right-wing, free-market think tanks
have joined with neoliberal education groups
in pushing for choice and privatization
policies. These right-wing think tanks and
similar organizations are active in every state,
and many more are pursuing a national agenda."

"By any measure, the free-market campaign
in education has shown extraordinary results.
Conservative education policy is now
pervasive and deeply ingrained among a
growing faction of powerful and wealthy
Democrats. As suggested by the opening
quotation from Hess and Petrilli, education
has emerged as a key potential area of accord
between the White House and the
Republican-led House. Only minimal
compromise will be necessary because the two
sets of positions are already so well-aligned."


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