Philobiblon: Private enterprise in public education

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Private enterprise in public education

Such a good idea to encourage private enterprise to get involve in sponsoring educational efforts don't you think? Don't you?

In Britain, McDonald's is sponsoring a conference of head teachers - they're the ones who are supposed to be getting their pupils to eat more healthily, while religious nutter creationsists are being given hundreds of children to play with for their very own in so-called City Academies. (They only need to put in a couple of million pounds and they have control of an entire school, presumably forever - generation after generation. No wonder some parents are fighting against it.)

In the US, the right-wing, particularly the extreme right-wing, is trying to buy the campus mind, as one story has it. Not only are drug, agricultural and chemical companies funding research into products out of which they want to make a great deal of money (something of which I have experience in my early days when an animal feed company had hoped to make me and a friend their free student labour for a laborious trial), but they are trying to take over the humanities by funding projects of their own choosing. I wonder if Wal-Mart is funding research into the minimum wage, or into how to get even more state benefits for their pitifully paid employees?

Isn't it a good thing that we know kids will always rebel against things being shoved down their throats - well, we hope they will.


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