Privatizing Education

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lee Fang talks about the national movement to reform public education through vouchers, charters, and privatization, and the rise of “virtual schools”—charters operated online, with teachers instructing students over the Internet. His article “How Online Learning Companies Bought America's Schools” appears in the December 5 issue of The Nation.


Lee Fang

Comments [11]

Jon from CT

I don't see why this should be controversial. The classroom is a notoriously inefficient and ineffective vehicle for teaching. If online learning works for you, use it. If it doesn't, go back to the traditional classroom or find something better. And who cares if a class is offered by a for profit company, a not for profit, or a government run entity. I'm typing on a computer made by a for profit company. I like the fact that it works.

I would appreciate it if Mr. locate would interview someone experienced in online education instead of some silly muckraker.

Nov. 29 2011 10:50 PM
jj from NJ

I always knew that I should not have children, so I did not. Every single day that goes by the pile of crap just gets higher and higher, hence, I'm ever more certain that I was right.

Good Luck.

Nov. 29 2011 05:58 PM
jennie sunshine from Westchester County, NY

My concerns regarding privatizing public schools are as follows:

1. Isolation: If a child gets up from his bed and doesn't go to school, but stays in his room to go "online" to class, how is he supposed to learn socialization? There are also great problems with this...what if a child is abused at home and he has no where "to go" for people to be able to report it? What if the child is hungry and really needed a public school's "free lunch" program? What about that inspirational teacher that helps a kid want to make a difference? Sports? The arts?

2. Where are the parents in all of this? Don't they have to work? They cannot be "home" monitoring their children.

3. Play. Kids already no longer play outside with one another at home. The school play yard is often the only place kids play together and get exercise. If kids stay in one room and "go to school" on their computer...our children will be fat, sick and isolated.

This cannot be good for our future as a Country.

Nov. 29 2011 01:57 PM
Fanny Erickson

This sounds like a good adjunct program, but lacks interpersonal connection to another human who is the teacher. Also this seems for those with the privilege that there are not absent parents who HAVE to work to pay the bills. And the single parent households, what of them? Even high school age students need the stability of interaction with adults. We have too much addiction to technology with increasingly limited skills in connecting to other people.

Nov. 29 2011 01:54 PM
Susan from UWS

PS-- Bill Bennett did NOT want to see the public schools wired for the internet. Now we know why!

Nov. 29 2011 01:54 PM
maurice from Home

New form of money making for the Capitalist Class . What does the Obama Administration think about this trend ???

Nov. 29 2011 01:52 PM
Susan from UWS

K-12 Inc. was founded by 1980's Education Sec'y Bill Bennett.

Nov. 29 2011 01:50 PM

Our mostly private colleges are the best in the world. Our public schools are terrible. It sounds like he's just complaining about online schools.

Nov. 29 2011 01:41 PM
Brad from Brooklyn

I develop online education for adult audiences. 2 generations of my family were elementary school teachers. I love education, teachers can't be replaced, but there still is a place for online learning for kids. Study aids for kids who's parents are not available to help, online collaborative projects to connect students allowing them to help each other after school... Are there public schools developing their own technology to do it their own way, instead of farming the whole project out...?

Nov. 29 2011 01:37 PM

I took some classes towards a Masters in Educational Technology for certification in School Media Specialist (the new school librarians). I found the online classes challenging but sometimes frustrating because of a lack of interaction with other students and teachers.

Doing this with middle-school and high school students is just nuts. Makes no sense whatsoever. We have to stop letting wealthy corporations make our laws and define our culture. It's really getting scary.

Nov. 29 2011 01:36 PM
Janney from LES

My biggest concern is this, won't privatizing public education do the same thing privatizing the prison system and healthcare system? Private schools will eventually find money in student failure?

Also Naomi Klein sited in her book Shock Doctrine how most schools in New Orleans were converted to private.

Nov. 29 2011 01:25 PM

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