US Corporations Are Micromanaging Curricula to Miseducate Students
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Corporate curricula thus have an agenda – promoting capitalism at the expense of open inquiry – which also spills over into the corporate attack on public education. “Schools are scapegoated for the failures of the economic system,” Coles writes, arguing that corporations, responsible for a growing economic “precariat” (the population whose temporary or part-time work is precarious) in the US, palm off the blame onto schools with a dubious narrative about an abundance of high-skilled jobs, for which schools are not preparing Americans. This narrative is a lie. There is no such abundance, just capitalism’s aim to focus attention elsewhere while it fails to create high-paying jobs, leaving the service sector as the fastest-growing US employer. Coles exposes corporate hypocrisy on this point by detailing how U S corporations contrive to underfund education, primarily through tax evasion.
Billionaire Bill Gates argues for slashing education budgets. Dismissing the multitude of studies showing that reduced class size benefits students as “an erroneous policy ‘belief’ that ‘has driven school budget increases for 50 years,’” Gates argues for the financial savings of large class sizes with a sort of highly paid super-teacher. Ignoring extensive research on this topic, “the self-styled educational researcher, whose company, Microsoft, moved its vast profits offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes, [said] ‘You can’t fund reforms without money, and there is no more money.’”
Overall, Coles argues that schools really do meet corporations’ need for exploitable service sector workers. In fact, “the worst nightmare for corporate leaders and the rich would be universal school success, in which vast numbers of graduates were fully able to do the purported extraordinary number of STEM jobs said to be awaiting them in the grand global economy.” For the few jobs that really do exist, corporations strive to keep schools occupationally oriented and distracted from questions about the true nature of our economy. Studying global capitalism “is the last topic corporate powers governing the economy want in the curriculum.” In fact, capitalism is the word one dare not speak in education. Hence the euphemism “the global economy.” Corporations constrict the curriculum deliberately, limiting political and historical discourse. “The corporate mission,” Coles writes, “is to derail students from imagining [what educator Maxine Green calls] ‘alternative visions of the world – visions of what might be, what ought to be.’”
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December 27, 2018 at 5:21 AM #5401mrdmkParticipant
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Reagan’s Budget In California Cuts Called For Ending ‘Intellectual Luxuries’
But, earlier that year, newly-elected California Gov. Ronald Reagan, who won on a platform of cutting taxes and reducing state spending, told universities that there would be some “intellectual luxuries” that they would have to do without.
At a press conference in Sacramento on Feb. 28, 1967, Reagan told a crowd that the taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing intellectual curiosity. He told colleges to shift their focus by teaching workforce entry skills. It was a view 180 degrees opposed to the idea that college is a place for intellectual development and took a longer-term view about which skills are actually useful.
It was on that day in late February, more than 48 years ago, that the purpose of higher education changed forever, Berrett said.
“What I argue is that I see much more discussion in the public sphere about colleges needing to be job creation tools and less about developing abilities that might not have an immediate apparent pay off,” Berrett said. “I think when you look at it deeply enough it does become a false dichotomy.”
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December 27, 2018 at 10:07 AM #5441
January 2, 2019 at 6:00 PM #7649Ohio BarbarianModerator
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found it increasingly hard to get tenure. More money got funneled into business schools and less into liberal arts. It was most disheartening.
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June 27, 2019 at 7:13 PM #81189Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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“The corporate mission,” Coles writes, “is to derail students from imagining [what educator Maxine Green calls] ‘alternative visions of the world – visions of what might be, what ought to be.’”
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