Like Everything Else, School Reform is All About the Benjamins Too

Or in other words, how the private sector is gutting educating to profit from your tax dollars.

My wife has worked at a few charter schools now, and they were all — without exception — purely profit driven, unconcerned with students or with learning, guilty of pressuring faculty to push students through regardless of whether or not they had learned, and in some cases virtually abusive in their treatment of faculty.

Profit and education don’t belong together. There’s no such thing as a good for-profit school once you go beyond trade and vocational schools. At best, they rise to an acceptable level of mediocrity — with the highest level of student loan debt.


Punkonomics (@DearBalak)


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Profit, HigherEd and Lessons on the Prestige Cartel

tressiemclogoProf. Beni Balak’s thoughts on how profit is killing higher education in the U.S. Timely and important. Bottom line: “So let’s start with what for-profits are broadly. Everyone likes to tell me the joke about how ‘aren’t all colleges for profit; he he.’ Trust me, I’ve heard that one. Yes, we all increasingly participate in profit seeking activities, but the difference lies in what one can do with that profit: it’s the difference between profit-taking versus reinvestment.”


My friend Aaron Bady (who may one day learn to spell my whole name!) had the foresight to publish his excellent analysis of temporality, future fetishization, and MOOC evangelism at his online home.

He encouraged me to similarly publish my talk.

Here’s the thing: I go off script. A lot. I mean, I go way off script.

Here’s the other thing: I rewrote this talk two hours before I delivered it because doing so has become my process.

However, I resent that every enticing web link has become a portal to a video. I despise watching videos and I am always hoping for text. To Aaron’s point about fair engagement and to my own fetishization of the written word, I’m sharing a version of the talk I gave at UC Irvine on for-profit higher education.

In this talk I tried to do two things that I often try…

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