So my dad asked me the other day what on earth would be the
benefit of dismantling the Department of Education. His question was prompted
by an article he recently came across. My response was,” have you heard of X,
Y, Z testing/educational publishing companies?”
If we did away with the Department of Education and public
schooling as we know it, these companies as well as private on-line schools are
poised to make bank. Along with their politically connected supporters (note I
did not single out a particular party-gains will be on both sides of the
The New York Times not too long ago chronicled the gaffe
about a prompt regarding a pineapple on state exams. The testing company
responsible for the item in question holds the sole contract for standardized tests
not only for New York City public schools, but the entire state of Texas.
Apparently anti-trust laws don’t apply when annual testing has been legislate-
thank you NCLB.
The fact is privatization of our education system is a very
real possibility. Either through the dismantling of federal departments or the
lure of click-for-credit on-line programs. The question is, how is public
education going to respond and deal with this reality? And will our children
benefit or suffer from the outcome of the debate?