Marion Brady is a veteran educator who has long argued that public education needs a paradigm shift. Brady says schools need a complete transformation in what and how students learn — not the Common Core State Standards, standardized tests and other elements of corporate-influenced school reform. Here’s his latest piece, on efforts by some reformers to privatize America’s public school system, which many see as the most important civic institution in the country.
What is school privatization? It is part of a larger campaign to diminish public institutions by contracting out to the private, for-profit sector jobs and responsibilities of the public sector. School vouchers and charter schools run by for-profit companies are seen as part of the school privatization movement, which critics say will ultimately undermine the country’s democracy.
When, about 30 years ago, corporate interests began their highly organized, well-funded effort to privatize public education, you wouldn’t have read or heard about it. They didn’t want to trigger the debate that such a radical change in an important institution warranted.