By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
Believe or not, there exists a group of homeschooling parents who teach their kids at home because they believe that the public schools have been destroyed by corporations.
The food is corporate junk. The street clothes and sportswear are covered with corporate logos. The curriculum is often sponsored by corporate predators. (The winner of a spelling bee sponsored by the local high school's principal last week won a choice of prizes from Wendy's, McDonald's or Dairy Queen. Can you spell diabesity?). Even the music increasingly is corporate-inspired crapola, driven
largely by payola.
And the morality of the schools is the morality of the marketplace.
But even the most ardent anti-corporate homeschooling parents often give up the fight when it comes to college. At 18, little Johnny has had enough of being at home. And it's time to send him off to -- College. We can only guess at the extent of the corruption of academia by the corporate predators.
But if we are to believe what we read in journalist Jennifer Washburn's
new book, then academia is in it deep. The title of Washburn's book tells it all -- University Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education (Basic Books, 2005).
(Disclosure: an old research piece of ours is mentioned in the book.)
If you listen to right-wing radio, or watch Fox News -- as we do -- then you might be under the impression that universities are dominated by left-wing professors, liberals and cranks. If you don't, you might believe that universities are independent non-profits dedicated to education and research.
Not true, Washburn says.
Traditionally, universities were not governed by market forces and were largely independent of commercial interests. But over the past 25 years, universities are acting less like universities and more like corporations. (more...)