Business coalitions have persuaded governments around the world to turn schools into competing business enterprises where children are drilled and tested on a narrow range of skills. Despite their declining contribution to the costs of schooling, businesses are taking control of more and more aspects of schooling, not only to produce submissive employees with basic literacy and numeracy skills, but also to prevent the development of critical thinking skills. They are seeking to erode public schooling, as well as promote consumer values and business viewpoints and ideology.
Corporate leaders have assumed the unrivalled moral authority to define the purposes and methods of public schooling in response to the new technology-driven glohal economy. Hailed as victorious generals in the battle hetween capitalism and socialism, many espouse a millennial vision that links education to global free markets... corporate executives most want schools to emphasize "a basic understanding of math and science" and "sound work habits such as self-discipline, timeliness and dedication to work."... The corporate model of reform pays little heed to other expectations of public schools: building just and tolerant communities, reducing distrust of one another and our shared institutions, safeguarding democratic ethics and introducing children to the cultural wisdom of the world.
Education is no longer just about the 3 'R's, but the 5 'R's:
- Respect (for business values)
- Retail (consumerism)
The consequence of this corporate capture of childhood has been a generation of children who have been manipulated, shaped and exploited as never before in history. Not only have they lost the opportunity to play and develop at their own pace, their psyches have been damaged and their view of the world distorted. They are trained rather than educated and constantly tested to make sure they have absorbed the ‘correct’ information. They are supposed to seek happiness in possessions, treat relationships as a means to an end, and incessantly compete with each other. Children have never before been under such pressure to conform to business requirements. It is little wonder that so many children grow into youths who are unhappy, stressed, fat, delinquent, or self-destructive.