David Sirota at Salon.com highlights another example of the blatant hypocrisy characteristic of education reform in the United States as billions of dollars are being spent on more useless, questionable technology in and out of the classroom with no improvement in student test scores. Sirota explains how the shock doctrine is being used by corporate reformers and campaign contributors during this economic crisis to "hype an unproven school agenda" - what a shock!
However, there's nothing like a desperate economic situation to motivate people to take a hard look at where the money is being spent. Finally, the media and the American public are beginning to questions the flagrant opportunistic greed of corporate reformers who have hijacked any chance of a real, meaningful education.
In a recent New York Times article on the use of technology in Arizona school districts, former Apple Computer executive Karen Cator who is now heads the DoE's office of educational technology basically told the entire world that this emperor has no clothes. Cator said standardized test scores were an inadequate measure of the value of technology in schools.
Meanwhile, Sirota notes, The Times piece follows a recent Education Week report showing that as U.S. school systems are laying off teachers, letting schoolhouses crumble, and increasing class sizes, high-tech firms are hitting the public-subsidy jackpot thanks to corporate "reformers'" successful push for more "data-driven" standardized tests (more on that in a second) and more technology in the classrooms. Essentially, as the overall spending pie for public schools is shrinking, the piece of the pie for high-tech companies -- who make big campaign contributions to education policymakers -- is getting much bigger, while the piece of the pie for traditional education (teachers, school infrastructure, text books, etc.) is getting smaller.
Do you think any one of these corporate ed reformers and government cronies are embarassed by their own naked hypocrisy out there for all to see -- or are they shocked that anyone is even looking.