Amy Goodman’s column (“News Corp. merits scrutiny”) exposes Rupert Murdoch’s intent to cash in on the selling of America’s public schools. Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City schools, was recently hired by Murdoch to develop “business strategies for the emerging educational marketplace.” To this end, the NYC public schools granted News Corp. a $2.7 million contract and the New York State Education Department is close to granting a News Corp. subsidiary, Wireless Generation, a $27 million no-bid contract.
In Murdoch’s own words, “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone.”
The No Child Left Behind bill will facilitate this sellout. In 2014, NCLB requires every student in every public school that receives federal, Title I money, to meet all the standards of their state’s exams in order to avoid being taken over, either by the state, a private business or a charter school (many of which are for-profit businesses). To get 100 percent of any student body to this level is likely impossible. But then, maybe that was the point.
The question is: Do we want America’s children educated by corporations with the moral stature of News Corp.?