Home | About | Donate

Why Schools Should NOT Be Run Like Businesses


Why Schools Should NOT Be Run Like Businesses

Steven Singer

America loves business.

We worship the free market. Nothing is more infallible – not reason, not morals, not even God.

Money is the true measure of success – the more you have, the better a person you are.


Every institution that has been run like a business becomes an ineffective, corrupt shell because it loses its core mission in the name of seeking financial profit. For education, we see the same thing with privately run charter schools and for profit universities.


In any society there are some "things" that cannot be "for sale" or "privatized" for profit alone.
It's how we define "progress". Too often in the US it is defined by a bottom line attitude.
The way public education is funded has to change. Based on property values basically, the wealthy will always have the newest, most modern schools with all the amenities for the extracurricular activities funded.
The most precious natural resource any country has is it's young.
We are squandering that resource by our attitude towards public education.
But, the continuing slandering of public education by the "elitists" gives them more time to divide the already propagandized public about how to "reform" the system.
True public education in a true progressive society should and must be "free" (taxpayer supported) for all thru at least 4 years of college.
If the wealthy send their children to private schools that's ok.....but for the general public we have to take a better attitude not only to the enhancement of that, "special natural resource" but also the treating of our educators with more respect.
Finally, Americans have to participate in the system itself; to many just send their children off to school and never think twice about how the are being educated; never attend school board meetings; only gripe and curse the system when their child is some how negatively portrayed.
Get involved or don't gripe.


"Where we once cared about our country, justice and fair play" When was that?


No, the federal government does not have either ridged or rigid guidelines about curriculum (I am fairly rigid about spelling for communication). If you're thinking of the "Common Core" curriculum, it was created by state superintendents of education and adopted (or not) and adapted state by state. No. federal. anything. about it.


You seem to insinuate the simplistic notion that any government institution is inherently less qualified to serve a public good, compared to some private entity.

Well that argument, sadly has been winning since the No Corporation Left Behind was spawned as the first salvo to destroy public education organizationally, and to subsequently create individuals lacking critical thinking skills to hold corporate servicing political leaders accountable, or to see through the corporate driven agenda spouted through a corporate captured MSM.


Your take on education in America is as Bogus as your previous bashing of the Anti War Movement.

And all that in the Four Days since you decided to set up shop on this site.


This is an excllent article that very nicely sums up what is happening to Public Education


While it is true that there is no direct Federal mandate to adopt CC, the following is informative...

To get grants from Race to the Top -- Obama’s signature education program -- or waivers from the mandates of No Child Left Behind -- an education reform law adopted under President George W. Bush -- states have to prove they have standards to prepare students for college and work. They don’t have to adopt the Common Core Standards, but that works as one way to qualify for grants or waivers.

There was a rush by states to adopt Common Core by August 2010 because establishing standards won them points in the competition for a share of the billions in Race to the Top grants.

Tom McCarthy, a spokesman for Pope, acknowledged "there really wasn’t a credible alternative to Common Core" at the time.

So, the federal government didn’t force Common Core on the states, but it did create incentives for states to adopt the standards.

Quote from...


Thank you for your post. I have worked in public ed, attended public schools, and public U.


Had to comment on this: Great post!


Excuse me: As someone who has worked in public ed- public schools have certinly not failed. Over ninety per cent of students in the US attend public schools, and teachers work very hard- often until late at night and often buy some of their own materials. Most teachers I know love their jobs, and work for far less than people in other careers despite having to get a MA and a license. What qualifications do you have to criticize education? And by the way why are teachers always criticized, but Wall Street bankers can do no wrong and even get bonuses courtesy of the American people? Did our reps in congress even ask us if we wanted to bail out criminals?


Thank you about get involved or don't gripe. "It takes a village to raise a child."


Schools are run by by the administration with state guidelines including requirements for graduation.


"all industrialized nations---where teachers are paid far less". No, there are quite a few industrialized nations where teachers are paid more than US teachers are.


Nobody said that there were not any problems, and inner city areas have even more challenges because the students themselves come from challenging situations that can also be violent. Teachers serve as more than vessels of intellect. They comfort and counsel children, and also are trained to deal with Sped and behavioral approaches as well as work with a team of other professionals and parents. Why compare one society to another ? Also, teachers are paid far less than other professionals even here in the US. People who work in the financial sector ( such as accountants with experience) often make at least three times what a teacher makes. Comparing the needs of an inner city district where parents have some of their own problems to a wealthy one where parents have the luxury of less worries is absurd. The fed government and the states have cut back funding , and some federal mandates remain unfunded. Teachers are also required to do more paperwork , and often stay until late at night as well as planning or going to the classrooms on weekends. Instead of just reading books, and staying in your tower and criticizing, perhaps you could volunteer ( with your intelligence) at the neighborhood school sometime. Kids often love to meet different people who have worked in various careers. That would also give you a birdsye view of what really goes on in a classroom rather than a book.
More tests are also given to children these days which piles on more work and preasure to perform on teachers.
Children are also taught about critical thinking and social skills as well. Social skills used to be taught by families, but with so many working these days teachers are often left with some of those duties as well.
Plus more and more kids with autism have entered the public school systems.
A child is not a business "product." that is measured with a score. He/she is a human.
Perhaps instead of the government concentrating on bailouts for Wall Street, lowering taxes( as well as funding to ed) for the one per cent, we should raise funding ( past that sequester level)!, concentrate on re building communties especially after a major recession ( did you forget), and stop promoting charter schools which are run by private corporations. Apparently you also support Betsy DeVos the billionaire creationist who hates public schools but has no experience in education. ( And oh yes- you'll jump up and down over this - she's anti choice). You probably hate unions as well.


wow, I have an idea lets try to find some evidenc. For-profit colleges have been a real boon for students and taxpayers alike. Seems like it has only just recently proven to be a good model.


Gee, just what students need- for profit- when they are drowning in debt. Us will promote anything for profit.


Yes, there are quite a few nations where teachers get greater pay, housing and more respect than in the US. Some teachers from the US have moved to other countries like Japan for instance.


Hey, here's one: not only did the fed government cut funding, the states did also. That leaves property taxes ( which also support police and fire) which are soaring through the roof. America is aging, and that leaves an aging population stuck with rising taxes sometimes living on a fixed income. If the US really valued Ed there would be increased funding not just unlimited funds for the military.
BTW- I have never met any type of teacher that you have described.
I am not a professor or a researcher - just someone who has worked in ps.
If you with your superior intellect want to bash the schools in the US ( which started in MA) then go right ahead. You also sound like a union basher.
Are you also aware that some charter school teachers make 12 an hour? ( with no time to plan and no union, and an extended day). Since you love charter schools so much then you would jump up and down with glee over that) .Who in their right mind would want to work for that after attending college and getting a license ( not to mention taking a test)? Some people working at WalMart make more than that!
I believe that I read about the U of Texas study some time ago. Some states have poorer systems than others- I believe that I heard that Texas, Louisiana, and Miss. were at the bottom.