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Forum Post: The Goals of Corporate Education Reform

Posted 6 years ago on Feb. 6, 2012, 11:22 p.m. EST by Talleyrand (59)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Anybody who knows anything understands that Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Bloomberg and other billionaires who all of the sudden care about schools only want to create the next generation of docile workers and vacuous consumers.

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[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 6 years ago

Yes everything is a plot to develop little automatons and deliver them to the widget assembly line. When did we make the move to exempt parents from any and all responsibility in educating their kids? The article you linked to proposes an interesting theory, but doesn't offer any support beyond opinion.

Schools can't do everything. Parents don't want to pay higher taxes, can't control their own children, and yet demand accountability. The standardized testing is an outgrowth of that, not some plot by Bill Gates et al.

It's true that businesses need an educated pool from which to draw workers. There isn't anything sinister there. All the jobs for dumb workers have gone and aren't coming back. It's nice to see them putting their money where their mouth is in some communities.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 6 years ago

We made parent not responsible when the State involved themselves in child rearing so much so the states takes children from parents that discipline their children. I disagree with beating any child. If the kid is smarter than you are and your only course of reaction is frustration, the child is smarter than you.

Then again, there are some kids that don't care about anything and will pull out a gun and shoot you for stepping om their shoes. I wonder where these kids learned intolerance from...... I ain't one to gossip but reading the some of the posts on this site, the way our government and businesses are run tells me this is learned in the home, the public and work environment.

Facts and reality are what they are and it is only our perception of them that changes.

You might get all pissy when somebody says something you disagree with but think you are not just being pissy. I read the first words that you typed "Yes everything is a plot to develop little automatons and deliver them to the widget assembly line" which is a bit of a put down through sarcasm.

Try educating yourself on Gates, Microsoft, Stacker Software, Double Space, Apple, GUI and so on.

And just so you know. It isn't just parent that pay for the education of other people's children. We pay income and property taxes and have no children. If the educational system actually worked we would have no problem paying more taxes to support it.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 6 years ago

Public education was determined to be something good for society decades ago, maybe for the wrong reasons originally, but that isn't the point. The point is we all pay, doesn't matter if you have kids or not. The task has certainly gotten more difficult as teachers are forced to compete with more distractions in the classroom and less help from home.

Local voters can, and have, decided artificial turf or stadium lights are more important than educational supplies and equipment. If a business comes along and offers millions to a poor district to improve actual education, you do have to look at any strings tied to the arrangement. As long as the educators still control the curriculum there shouldn't be a problem. If you can make the arrangement work, then take the money and do some good with it.

If someone can only fall back on tired cliches about developing docile workers and vacuous consumers whenever a business steps up to help they don't deserve much more then sarcasm.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 6 years ago

A school in Aberdeen Washington just got handed 500 iPads for free. That is potentially 500 new customers for Apple. I applaud the gift but also see a good business opportunity and the opportunity for free publicity.

Not everything has to have a double edge to it.

What do you do?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 6 years ago

If you need the computers you take the gift, maybe call SONY or someone an see if they want to help also. It's not like kids don't know the brand already. I can easily draw the line with direct advertising or something like coke or pepsi wanting to give you cash to put their machines in a school's lobby. Taking a product that has an educational application is different.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 6 years ago

In Charlotte, North Carolina a group of banks and businesses have given money, around $55 to $60 million, to several schools in a depressed area. It's been left to the educators to determine how the money will be used to improve achievement. Does their motive matter as long as they are not interfering in the actual education? Let's face it the factory jobs are not going to be coming back. Take the help that's offered as long as you still keep control of the educational content.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 6 years ago

In some cases it does and in others it doesn't. Apple is getting a lot of bang for their buck and possibly creating future customers while doing this.

The banks in NC might honestly be giving back to the community. But the banks, perhaps not these banks, were bailed out and have been caught robo-signing foreclosure on people when the banks were in the wrong. If these banks did this then they have a lot to make up for.

If they didn't then they may just be good people. I don't know the particulars so I can't sit in judgment.

[-] 1 points by Talleyrand (59) 6 years ago

This a great discussion and a very important one. Girl Friday is on the money with what she says.

The current drive for education reform IS corporate from to bottom. Charter schools, standardized exams and online learning are all being pushed by corporate entities and enforced by the politicians that buy them off. Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Walton family and now News Corp are the biggest forces behind education reform. They form what Diane Ravitch calls "The Billionaires Boys Club".

As has already been said, when corporations want to educate your children, run like hell.

Certainly, how children spend their idle time is the province of the parents However, this does not mean teachers should not help shape their students' attitude towards idle time. As we know, most parents are overworked and are perfectly content to sit their kids in front of the television or computer.

As Girl Friday said, teachers are already being held accountable for things that their students do outside of the classroom. So, why shouldn't teachers have an influence over the idle time of their students, especially if it is an educationally sound thing to do.

Anyway, great discussion.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22871) 6 years ago

If any corporation or corporate influence ever wants to educate your kid, run like hell !!!


[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

Free training. No cost to the business and they ensure more workers for the field than required so the saturated market for those job skills will devalue with respect to wages. Saves money on training and cuts payroll all in one swipe.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

Gee, technique number 2 in action. :D

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

When it comes to those hours when kids are not in school, education reformers are silent. I do not believe this is an accident by any means.

I have seen a push for the pay for extra tutoring after school. It is a rather booming business in Asia.

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 6 years ago

Why should educators speak up about the time when it's the parent's responsibility? It's no secret how to improve your kid's chances in school and in life. Read to your kids when they're little restrict the use of tv and video games. Be concerned. involved, and supervise them. Luck may play a role too, but that's not the fault of parents, government, or business.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

Did you read the blog? If you did, you would realize that I pulled it from there.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 6 years ago

Yes I did, but the question stands, more so if you read the article and agree with it.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

Why shouldn't they speak up? Thus far they are being held accountable for what goes on outside of the school. We have watched, for a decade, the pitting of educators against parents which has done nothing but keep attention off of the corporate influence. Odd, that.

Considering the fact that standardized testing is at best rote memorization of facts (teach to the test) you will find that critical thinking has been discarded. Information is not retained. What they are finding out in places like Korea is that hogwons, which operate until about midnight, are encountering the same problems. The kids are learning for the moment and are completely exhausted.

The standardized tests cannot be compared state by state and they cannot be compared nation to nation.The only ones that profit from this are the testing companies, which make beau-coup bucks but pay no taxes and at least one of the testing companies also makes textbooks. One of the main reasons that scores are dismal is due to inclusion. ESL learners are also required to take those tests.

The number one problem with education is the same as it has always been: poverty. Now, we have been going down this road since the 1980s. There has always been a question of corporate involvement in education starting as far back as the initial factory model schools. It needs to be questioned, heavily, at this time.

In my opinion, down time is extremely important when children are very young. It allows problems to be solved and a great deal of creativity to come forward. There is nothing greater than watching a 6-11 year old kid use their imaginations to create a make believe world. If you listen then you hear them process, to the best of their ability, the world around them. This is quite advantageous to society.

Education that is devoted simply to busy work does no one any good. The whole concept of "group work" is to get more done in a smaller amount of time which leaves the educators more time to get more stuff done. The kids are relying on each other for information and most often graded as a group in a system that demands competition as individuals.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago


We must cater to the learning process.

It has been found that you have better retention and gain better understanding if you are given time to digest and process new information prior to immersing yourself in more study.

It has been learned that taking a break after an intense period of study allows the brain to process new information and make new connections. Taking a break can mean taking a short nap ( good stress relief here ) or getting some fresh air and exercise ( also good stress relief and necessary for growing bodies ).

Learning is also supported/enhanced by free creativity time. This would be along the lines of arts and crafts. Let the imagination loose and have some fun.

These things and more need proper attention for successful happy healthy growth.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

I agree 100% We have all of these great theories, which do not make it into application with the system as is. All of them center around the kids. Brain based learning is great. Garner's multiple intelligence theory is awesome. They all cater to the bringing out the best in kids.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

So we need to continue to try and enlighten/educate the parents and the public at large as to what they can do to motivate their schools. Get them to unite in common cause to educate our Federal and State government as to the proper direction to move in.

Like a garden it takes constant care and attention.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Well we are on that road. Let us hope we can continue to drive in the right direction.

Unite in support of common cause: Health and prosperity for "All".

[-] -1 points by JenLynn (692) 6 years ago

You're covering several things at once, and seeing corporate influence where it may or may not be. Most educators are distressed by the overuse of standardized tests. That push is coming from outside education, but it's here and they have to deal with it.

Poverty is certainly a problem, too many districts are short of funds. Too many local residents either can't or won't fund education. A group of businesses and banks in Charlotte has given several of the worst preforming schools over $50 million to improve achievement and left it up to the educators as to how to spend the money. Too many local residents either can't or won't fund education.

As you said, kids need down time when they are young, but the author of the article doesn't mean idle time as doing nothing. The constructive use of down time is more the responsibility of the parent, that's where most of this idle time is in the first place. Parents don't want to be told what their job is, even when they are neglecting it.

Like I said originally, it's no secret how to make sure your child is a success when he or she gets to school. You've got them all to yourself the first 5 years. If you don't want to do it then why expect educators to harp on your past negligence?

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

All of the things that I am discussing are in the above blog post. Standardized testing is coming from those that are seeking to get rid of public education in an effort to profit from it and NO, we do not have to stand back and just deal with it. The money would be there if states didn't spend $24 million and up a year on standardized tests that go nowhere except to those who profit on the tests and the textbooks and currently the real estate scams with charter schools.

Poverty is a problem in the children's homes as well. The problem is POVERTY. Every study that has come out says the exact same thing. Every single one of them. Even under Reagan.

The point of the blog entry is that this is tied in together.

What the author did not mention either because it didn't tie into the material or, further, did not know is that things like video game systems are inherently important when you are looking for activities that will keep the kids in the house or other kids coming to your house. You will find that there are neighborhoods where you cannot allow your child on the streets to play. They get shot and they die. The author did not include that if there are sports activities that parents get their kids involved in it is to keep them off the streets where they may often get shot and die. The author did not mention that those kids that can afford to go from activity to activity after school have parents that are trying to give their children access to a better world with as much extra knowledge that they can have.

Failure on your part to recognize the role of inclusion because you don't want to pay for teachers that are highly trained to educate children with disabilities is negligence on your part. Not mine. Standardized testing that is not truly accountable and is a sham for the destruction of public education is negligence on your part not mine.


[-] 0 points by Quark (236) 6 years ago

Bill Gates is a great man. More than most will ever be.

[-] 0 points by JadedGem (895) 6 years ago

America works hard. They want to see if we can be pushed further. If humans are adaptable they want to make us adapt to working harder and even longer hours. The harder people work, the less time they have for raising their children. The harder people work, the less likely they will spend a few moments looking at the politics that force them to do so. What they absolutely do not want is for people to disengage from the electronic baubles, the smart phones, Ipads, game stations, more importantly corporate media outlets, and cable. They definitely don't want people to realize what junk they sold away x amount of hours of their lives to acquire. Slaves were bought with beads, now they are bought with Iphones. I use to sit around and watch PBS documentaries on primitive people and marvel at the rich complexity of relationships and social interactions and the many and varied tasked that could be completed by any child raised in the villages. (Nope I don't have facebook account, I find it disgusting to be reduced that!) Most people just watch and think, no electricity, no TV, yuck! They don't even see what they have lost to the high maintenance modern lifestyle when its right in front of them. The work/play ratio is way different for primitive people. They own their time and it is valuable and they value their time together. (They don't need facebook, everybody will at the bonfire tonight) Many people think the modern lifestyle must be maintained at all costs and they pay a dear price for it, they make their children pay a dear price for it. In the end your Iphone is no different from slave beads, its a trinket. Corporations will always be pedaling something, whatever trinket is currently in fashion. God forbid anybody disengage and quit their second job! If people actually thought, they might reach these conclusions for themselves. Can't have that!

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 6 years ago

Who is this "they" you are so convinced is doing all this? A lot of it is that most people just don't have to struggle to survive any more. Take away that and they naturally go in the direction of least resistance. It's not a plot that the population is getting fat, lazy, or ignorant. It's, unfortunately, just human nature. All too few find enjoyment in aesthetic pursuits.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (22871) 6 years ago

Nothing could be more true. BEWARE the philanthropy of big business in our education system!!!

"Our goal should be to teach children to value their idle time as opportunities for reflection and self-betterment." Well said.

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 6 years ago

Funny, what he calls idle time in the article isn't idle, it's just activities he doesn't approve of. In some places businesses are offering money to poorly preforming schools to improve achievement. The parents can't or won't do their job, can't pay higher taxes or vote them down. So what should we do? Businesses want and need educated people, the simple jobs are gone forever. You should certainly be careful about what deals you accept, but I don't think it's wise to let your fears and prejudices blindly refuse help no one else wants to give.

[-] 2 points by unimportant (716) 6 years ago

I personally vote against any and all bond measures. I am not going to pawn the future of the country. But I vote for any taxes that are specifically to fund education k-12. We have no kids so we pay for the kids of others as our commitment to our society.

This is how a society is supposed to function. Because we don't have kids does not mean that we should not support all kids. IMHO healthcare for children should be absolutely free. They have no choice in their economic standing, have no power in their economic standing and accordingly, should not have to pay for healthcare or school.

This would also make untreated illnesses and other medical problems less of a burden on our society in the long term.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22871) 6 years ago

I think the privatization of our education system and the commodification of our children will be a major contributor to our downfall.

And, kids need free time to develop, every child psychologist knows this.