Privatization in American Education: Rhetoric vs. Facts

EducationNext: Given the recent rhetoric of education reform’s critics, one might be forgiven for thinking that American private schools are at the peak of their influence. In a video produced by the Network on Education Policy, scholar-turned-activist Diane Ravitch claims that the “privatization movement—charters and vouchers—is moving forward full speed ahead, defunding public schools, using test scores to say public schools aren’t good enough. The question before us is how can we stop this steamroller that’s destroying the public sector, that wants to privatize everything, that wants to turn us from citizens into consumers.” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, warns her members of “corporate lobbyists who are working to privatize and defund public education, and cloaking their efforts as school ‘choice.’” National Education Association leader Lily Eskelsen Garcia has gone so far as to label education secretary Betsy DeVos “the queen of for-profit privatization of public education.”

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