Education Commercialization [K-12 and Post-Secondary]…the Frog in the Pot

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I just got the email containing this fantastic article on corporate creep in education. Its beginning is quoted below.

Then when I flipped through this month’s BC Teachers’ Federation Teacher Newsmagazine and read what’s becoming a regular update on commercial creep in K-12 schools, I saw too much light for my strained eyes to bear. 62% of BC high schools have exclusive marketing arrangements. Vomitous. Truly. More research into the K-12 frog in the slowly boiling pot is in the BCTF’s Public Education Not for Sale site.

The not-so-facetious beginning of the article below about homeschooling to keep our children from being preyed upon by cradle to grave marketing is beginning to make more than just unlikely sense.

All this to say that I’m glad we’ve got more and more creative people finding more effective ways of teaching us frogs that we’re in a pot of trouble. Sean Cook’s School Inc. play is just that. Here’s hoping it gets extended runs and tours the province, country and our whole neo-liberal privatization world.

Corporate College
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Believe or not, there exists a group of homeschooling parents who teach
their kids at home because they believe that the public schools have
been destroyed by corporations.

The food is corporate junk.

The street clothes and sportswear are covered with corporate logos.

The curriculum is often sponsored by corporate predators. (The winner of
a spelling bee sponsored by the local high school’s principal last week
won a choice of prizes from Wendy’s, McDonald’s or Dairy Queen. Can you
spell diabesity?)

Even the music increasingly is corporate-inspired crapola, driven
largely by payola.

And the morality of the schools is the morality of the marketplace.

But even the most ardent anti-corporate homeschooling parents often give
up the fight when it comes to college.

At 18, little Johnny has had enough of being at home.

And it’s time to send him off to —


We can only guess at the extent of the corruption of academia by the
corporate predators.

But if we are to believe what we read in journalist Jennifer Washburn’s
new book, then academia is in it deep.

The title of Washburn’s book tells it all — University Inc.: The
Corporate Corruption of Higher Education
(Basic Books, 2005).
(Disclosure: an old research piece of ours is mentioned in the book.)

If you listen to right-wing radio, or watch Fox News — as we do — then
you might be under the impression that universities are dominated by
left-wing professors, liberals and cranks.

If you don’t, you might believe that universities are independent
non-profits dedicated to education and research.

Not true, Washburn says.


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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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