The Business of Education

“The business we call “education” — when we mean “schooling” — makes an interesting example of network values in conflict with traditional community values. For one hundred and fifty years institutional education has seen fit to offer as its main purpose the preparation for economic success. Good education = good job, good money, good things. This has become the universal national banner, hoisted by Harvards as well as high schools. This prescription makes both parents and students easier to regulate and intimidate as long as the connection goes unchallenged either for its veracity or in its philosophical truth. Interestingly enough, the American Federation of Teachers identifies one of its missions as persuading the business community to hire and promote on basis of school grades so that the grades = money formula will obtain, just as it was made to obtain for medicine and law after years of political lobbying. So far, the common sense of businesspeople has kept them hiring and promoting the old-fashioned way, using performance and private judgment as the preferred measures, but they may not resists much longer.”  –John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, p. 60

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