NEPC Resources on School Commercialism
NEPC Review: Commercial Cash: How NY Schools Can Raise Extra Money Without Raising Taxes (Empire Center, September 2019)
Education Interview of the Month: Greg Smith Interviews Faith Boninger and Alex Molnar About Personalized Learning and Digital Privatization
Education Interview of the Month: Greg Smith Interviews Christopher Saldaña About Teachers as Brand Ambassadors
National Education Policy Center Deletes Its Facebook Account and Calls for Strict Data Protections Plus Public Regulation and Oversight of Digital Platforms
Computer technology has made it possible to aggregate, collate, analyze, and store massive amounts of information about students. School districts and private companies that sell their services to the education market now regularly collect such information, raising significant issues about the privacy rights of students.
In this report, the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights considers the impact commercial advertising and marketing practices have on the enjoyment of cultural rights, with a particular focus on freedom of thought, opinion and expression, cultural diversity and ways of life, the rights of children with respect to education and leisure, academic and artistic freedom and the right to participate in cultural life and to enjoy the arts.
The Sixteenth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercializing Trends finds that, in a context of fierce corporate opposition to regulation, lack of concern in the education sector about commercialism, and a general assumption by stakeholders that school participation in marketing programs is a constructive way to raise money little state or federal legislation related to school commercialism was signed into law in 2012 or 2013. Advocacy groups within the United States and internationally are, however, increasingly aware of the threats that marketing programs pose to children, especially
Representative CERU Publications (prepared for United Nations Consultation on “The Impact of Advertising on Cultural Rights”)
This document offers a selection of publications released by the Commercialism in Education Research Unit (CERU), organized by commercialism themes. It was prepared for the consultation organized by the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Ms. Farida Shaheed, on “The Impact of Advertising on Cultural Rights,” which took place in New York City on October 28-29, 2013.
Beleaguered educators are ever more open to offers of corporate “partnerships” that might bring in additional money for their schools.
Over the past several decades, schools have faced increasing pressure to partner with businesses, both to be seen as responsive to the business community and out of the hope that partnerships would help make up budget shortfalls as states reduced public funding for education.
Embedded advertising, in the forms of product placement and consumer events, is not new, but it has become the dominant advertising medium in 2010 and continues to expand. Advertising done in a school context is, by definition, "embedded." And although children, like adults, tend to believe that advertising does not affect them, research demonstrates that it does. Moreover, the authors believe the available evidence strongly suggests that when schools participate in marketing programs, students are exposed to psychological harm.
This policy brief describes the growth of schoolhouse advertising and marketing activities in the last few decades, assesses the harms associated with commercial activities in schools, and provides advocates, policymakers, and educators with a policy framework and model legislative language designed to protect children and the integrity of education programs from advertising and marketing in schools.
As part of their efforts to create a total advertising environment, companies continue to aggressively market in school to children and youth. Advertisers now routinely blur the boundaries between editorial content and advertising in an effort to thoroughly infuse childhood with marketing messages. The goal of creating a total advertising environment has been brought closer to reality through the exploitation of digital venues such as video games, social networking websites, and cell phones.
Presentation by Alex Molnar at the Frontiers Meeting of the Wellcome Trust, on "Environmental and Behavioural Determinants of Child Obesity" (May 29, 2009, Cambridge, England). Molnar discussed marketing of foods to children in schools in the context of obesity prevention. His remarks centered on the reasons food marketers are interested in schools, the forms that food marketing takes in schools, the products that are heavily marketed in schools, and policy options.
At Sea in a Marketing-Saturated World: The Eleventh Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends: 2007-2008
Three trends identified in the 2007 Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism continued to develop in 2008. Advertising is becoming ever more pervasive; the boundary between advertising and editorial content is becoming less distinct; and the relationship between marketers and consumers is becoming more interactive. Advertisers and marketers are pursuing divergent strategies, both hiding advertising inside ostensibly neutral editorial matter and directly enlisting consumers as agents and collaborators in the ongoing advertising process.
Author: Anne Marie Chaker Source: Wall Street Journal In the newest twist in schoolhouse commercialism, corporations are creating curricula, lesson plans, and materials in the hope that students will become employees.
Alex Molnar's invited keynote address at the conference, Education: Whose Business is it Anyway?, co-sponsored by Trinity College and The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Education, in Dublin, Ireland.
Author: Susan Linn Institution: Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Susan Linn points out some conflicts of interest in Al Gore's activities. While promoting environmental awareness and the need to conserve resources, he is also helping advertisers with global consumerism.
Adrift: Schools in a Total Marketing Environment. The Tenth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends: 2006-2007
Commercialism appears to be alive and well, in society at large and in schools. In 2007, we see a marketing environment that recognizes few boundaries. Advertisers ply their trade wherever they can and even engage consumers as collaborators in their marketing strategies. This “total environment” of marketing is enabled in part by new technologies that allow advertisements to appear in places they could not have been before, such as video games, social networking websites, and cell-phones.
Author: Trevor Norris Source: Educational Researcher Trevor Norris offers a positive review of Alex Molnar's book School Commercialism: From Democratic Ideal to Market Commodity.
Author: Stephen Petrina Source: Teachers College Record In his review of Alex Molnar's book, School Commercialism: From Democratic Ideal to Market Commodity, Stephen Petrina says the book is "the clearest, most cogent and productive book on the issue" of schoolhouse commercialism.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle Faced with the prospect of soda bans being enacted by states across the country, beverage giants such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi announced that that they would voluntarily stop selling syrupy sodas in most public schools.
Author: Samantha Gross Source: Associated Press The Alliance for a Healthier Generation School Beverage Policy guidelines were voluntarily adopted by the American Beverage Association, Cadbury Schweppes PLC, Coca-Cola Co., and PepsiCo, among others.
Author: Stuart Poyntz Source: Education Review In his review of Alex Molnar's book, School Commercialism: From Democratic Ideal to Market Commodity, Stuart Poyntz says the book examines "how various commercial initiatives...threaten the future of American education."
Author: William Saletan Source: The Washington Post Legislators, lawyers, and concerned citizens have waged a new war on America's growing obesity problem.