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Sam Abrams's Book Cited in Washington Post Blog on New Film on Privatization of Education

Sam Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education
Sam Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education
Sam Abrams's book, Education and the Commercial Mindset, about the pitfalls of privatization of public schools, is cited on The Answer Sheet, an education blog published by The Washington Post. The column, by Valerie Strauss, discusses the new documentary "Backpack Full of Cash," about "the real and ongoing movement to privatize public education and its effects on traditional public schools and the students they enroll."

Narrated by Matt Damon, the not-yet-released film tells "a scary but important story about corporate school reform policies that critics say are aimed at destroying the U.S. public education system, the country’s most important civic institution," Strauss writes.The film's Kickstarter site says its title "refers to the belief by corporate reformers that every child should be allowed to take their share of public education dollars — their 'backpack full of cash' — to any school they want, charter, religious, online or public."

Abrams is the Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education. Strauss quotes Abrams from an interview last summer for a Q&A about his book, which examines how market forces have shaped public education, and what the results have been:

"… where there is insufficient transparency for proper contract enforcement, the free market fails," Abrams said. "In the case of schooling, which is a classic complex service, the direct consumer is a child, who is in little position to judge whether classes are being properly taught. The parent, taxpayer and legislator are at a necessary distance." Using standardized test results to measure the quality of a complex service such as education is "rife with problems. ... [H]eavy reliance on standardized testing leads to teaching to the test, which means crowding out instruction in subjects that aren’t tested, particularly art, music, crafts and play, which are fundamental to a well-rounded education."

Read the full column here.

Published Friday, Nov 4, 2016

Sam Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education
Sam Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education
Sam Abrams's book, Education and the Commercial Mindset, about the pitfalls of privatization of public schools, is cited on The Answer Sheet, an education blog published by The Washington Post. The column, by Valerie Strauss, discusses the new documentary "Backpack Full of Cash," about "the real and ongoing movement to privatize public education and its effects on traditional public schools and the students they enroll."

Narrated by Matt Damon, the not-yet-released film tells "a scary but important story about corporate school reform policies that critics say are aimed at destroying the U.S. public education system, the country’s most important civic institution," Strauss writes.The film's Kickstarter site says its title "refers to the belief by corporate reformers that every child should be allowed to take their share of public education dollars — their 'backpack full of cash' — to any school they want, charter, religious, online or public."

Abrams is the Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education. Strauss quotes Abrams from an interview last summer for a Q&A about his book, which examines how market forces have shaped public education, and what the results have been:

"… where there is insufficient transparency for proper contract enforcement, the free market fails," Abrams said. "In the case of schooling, which is a classic complex service, the direct consumer is a child, who is in little position to judge whether classes are being properly taught. The parent, taxpayer and legislator are at a necessary distance." Using standardized test results to measure the quality of a complex service such as education is "rife with problems. ... [H]eavy reliance on standardized testing leads to teaching to the test, which means crowding out instruction in subjects that aren’t tested, particularly art, music, crafts and play, which are fundamental to a well-rounded education."

Read the full column here.

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