By Kenneth J. Saltman (auth.)
This is a innovative ebook that not just maps and criticizes enterprise philanthropy but additionally deals a brand new and diverse method of conceptualizing public schooling in accordance with the neoliberal weather affecting all features of public education.
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Additional resources for The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philanthropy
Venture philanthropists discuss using private foundation money to “leverage” the transformation of public schools and districts. They broadly aim to use foundation money to induce public administrators and teachers to transform the workings of public schools to facilitate their vision of privatization. What is largely represented in both mass media and educational policy literature as generosity, care, and goodwill is nothing short of a coordinated effort to destroy public education. That is, what appears as generosity and goodwill is in reality its diametrical opposite: the destruction of universal provision for public education, the foundation for deepening educational inequality rather than an attempt to remedy it, the production of a system primarily designed to benefit investors at the expense of the poorest citizens, and a worsening of the racial and gendered inequality that currently structures public schooling.
Consequently, Edison put tremendous pressure on schools to achieve higher and higher test scores to show investors and to use in public relations. This resulted in reports of teachers cheating on tests and encouraging students to cheat on tests. What is more, the tests became synonymous with educational quality. The possibilities for critical forms of education that engage with power relations, politics, and ethics are foreclosed when in conflict with the institutional interests of the company running the school.
For example, when Disney runs schools in their corporate town, Celebration in Florida, a curriculum addressing what role Disney or ABC or the media monopoly plays in making public meanings is out of the question as is the likelihood of any serious questioning of the role of the corporation. The implications for a self-critical society are dire. Though public schools do often serve as ideological state apparatuses, they are nonetheless open to the possibility of being remade in democratic ways because ownership and control of such schools remain public and stay within the realm of public debate and oversight.