The Privatization Infatuation

From Education Week, 27 (24), pp. 28-29. President Truman is said to have wished that his advisers had only one arm — so he didn’t have to repeatedly hear, in response to his policy questions, “on the one hand this, and on the other hand that.” Half a century later, a phalanx of “one-armed” policy analysts are plying their trade in free-market-oriented think tanks. For these analysts and their think tank sponsors, privatization is the preordained solution for each new educational problem. Indeed, time spent reading their reports leaves the unmistakable impression that the public nature of public education is the root problem for all that ails schools. Everything else is just a symptom.