Anthony Cody explains
here the sustained assault on the commons
, the effort to
privatize institutions that were long considered public.

He considers what happens when prisons
are privatized, creating profits by reducing the quality of service
and care. He shows why the post office is being privatized and who stands to gain.

And he summarizes the ongoing effort to privatize public schools and turn them over to corporate control.

He writes:

“It has
been decided in the halls of power, governmental and corporate,
that the way to improve schools is to unleash the power of the
marketplace. We are undergoing a transformation of huge proportions
in order to allow this to occur. Through the Common Core State
(sic) Standards, we are creating a single national marketplace for
tests, technology and curriculum – all three of which are
increasingly intertwined and removed from the control of teachers
and local communities….

“Meanwhile, our leaders
have unleashed “austerity” on the public sector, schools included.
In Chicago, the bulldozers destroyed a community reading center
treasured by local parents, capping off the closing of more than 50
public schools by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In Philadelphia, the mayor
has been working to abandon public schools in favor of charters,
and the underfunding of the city’s schools has clergy there calling
for a student boycott.”

He concludes:

“Our schools are part of a public
heritage passed down to us. They were built in our communities with
a vision of bringing all children under the same roof to learn
together. Privatization replaces this model of the commons with one
ruled by marketplace “choices.” As we know, some people always wind
up with many more choices than others. Interviews with parents
reveal that their first choice is almost always a high quality
local public school for their children. If we shifted our public
policies away from attempting to discredit and replace these
schools, and towards supporting and strengthening them, we would be
far better off.”