Saturday, May 23, 2015

Should Business Leaders Be Put in Charge of Education?

During the last 15 years, elected officials of both parties decided that business leaders would be better equipped to transform our public education system and make it "globally competitive" than teachers and school administrators. Their reasoning: why not put education policy in the hands of the most successful people in the country- people like Bill Gates, the Waltons, Eli Broad, and Michael Bloomberg.

Not only did this policy show a profound misunderstanding of and lack of respect for what educators do, it gave our "business leaders" far too much credit. During the last 30 years, when these business leaders have been given free reign to reshape the American economy, we have seen:

Millions of jobs exported or outsourced.
CEO's enrich themselves to an unprecedented degree
Whole sectors of the economy- e.g. Hedge Funds- emerge which produce nothing and accumulate an unconscionable proportion of national wealth
Wages and incomes remain stagnant for the majority of American workers and families.
The housing market crash and millions of families lose their homes to foreclosure
Tens of millions of people be saddled with credit card and college tuition debt they may never be able to pay off.

In short, the rich got MUCH richer, the poor got poorer, and the middle class shrunk.

Do you really want to hand over  control of our public schools to people who enriched themselves while living standards for most people deteriorated?