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None of Our Business

Why Business Models Don’t Work in Schools

By Crystal M England, Wisconsin Association of Middle Level Education

At last—an insider's look at the insidious intrusion of corporate interests into American classrooms. Former middle school principal Crystal England makes it perfectly clear that schooling-as-business is no schooling at all. When bottom lines are more important than developing minds, then students, families, and teachers pay—and pay big.

Her book examines the assertion, and assumption, that with more front-end management and an increasingly open market, schools could experience the success of corporations—an assertion that begs the real questions:

Is education an art or an industry?
What
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At last—an insider's look at the insidious intrusion of corporate interests into American classrooms. Former middle school principal Crystal England makes it perfectly clear that schooling-as-business is no schooling at all. When bottom lines are more important than developing minds, then students, families, and teachers pay—and pay big.

Her book examines the assertion, and assumption, that with more front-end management and an increasingly open market, schools could experience the success of corporations—an assertion that begs the real questions:

Is education an art or an industry?
What matters most—product or process?

In each of her seven chapters, England explores exactly how and why the school-business model does not and cannot work. She addresses such issues as:

  • expectations
  • marketing
  • standards
  • the education "audience"
  • assessment
  • nontraditional environments and choice
  • legislation.
Balancing practical wisdom with current research, England makes a consistently strong case against what amounts to assembly-line education using the business model. Quality principles, sound marketing, and other basic business tenets might mold products. But in the complicated community of diversity that is today's classroom, it is the individual teacher who creates harmony out of chaos and ensures real learning despite threats and ultimatums.

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ISBN 978-0-325-00444-0 / 0-325-00444-7 / 2003 / 120pp / Paperback
Grade Level: K - 12th
*Price and availability subject to change without notice.

Contents

1. It Takes a Village to Raise a Child
2. To Market, To Market
3. A Rose by Any Other Name
4. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
5. How Do I Test Thee?
6. A Better Mousetrap
7. No One Is Left Behind the Child

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