A reader sent me a very provocative blog about the future of education by David Warlick, who has long experience in education and technology.

The blog begins with the startling statistic that six media giants control 90% of what we see, read and hear.

He goes on to ask whether the time might come when 90% of our schools are controlled by three big corporations, each with its own board of directors, completely uninterested in the views of parents and teachers.

He writes: “I have come to worry about a greater threat to the democratic foundations of education, a threat so big, so strange, and so insidious, that it is going largely Un-noticed.  It is so large and comes from such high places that I hesitate to do more than whisper it.  I am not a cynical person.  But people whom I admire and respect have gone this far and for some time now – and I will too.  I fear that there is, and has been, an organized and orchestrated effort by people in high places (and low places) to privatize education in America – to take over our classrooms.”

These thoughts have crossed my mind, and I have more than whispered them. I can’t say for certain just how organized and orchestrated this effort is. From the outside, it seems to be very well-organized and very well orchestrated. It is certainly well-funded, and its advocates share a remarkably common vocabulary. Its program is very well designed: First, claim that the schools are failing; second, propose “cures” that have no evidence to support them; third, blame the schools when your “cures” fail (e.g., NCLB, Race to the Top); fourth, hand them over to private managers and for-profit corporations.

It is a frightening scenario, but it is one that is becoming more and more transparent with every passing day.

The corporate reformers have done a bang-up job of making Americans lose confidence in their public schools, even though they continue to admire the public schools that their own children attend.

The game is on.

We must stop them.