Here is the handbook of the for-profit education industry (although it does advise you to drop the label “for-profit”).
Here are some basic facts that it recites. The world spends many billions on education. The United States spends close to $2 trillion on education, nearly $900 billion on K-12.
This is a huge market for investors seeking to make a profit.
And then it launches into spin about how terrible the American public education system is, never mentioning that our students (white, Black, Hispanic, and Asian) now have the highest test scores ever on NAEP, the highest graduation rates in history (for all groups), and the lowest dropout rates (for all groups). It is the usual “sky-is-falling” hokum, all intended to persuade the public to turn their public schools over to hedge fund managers and equity investors and hucksters who know nothing at all about education.
There is also no mention of the many scandals that have surrounded the charter industry, as fly-by-night operators cash in on a newly deregulated industry.
The main point, the same point that Michael Moe of GSV Investors has been making for nearly 20 years, is that the education industry offers the opportunity to clean up for the canny investor and entrepreneur, by siphoning off taxpayer funds that were supposed to go to children and classrooms.
If you love Teach for America, charter schools, consultants, for-profit schools and colleges, online universities, and technology, you will love this report. If you loved No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and “Waiting for Superman,” you will love this report.
If you think that corporate reform is a pox on American education, read it and arm yourself for the battles ahead.