by David Safier
This is the third and final segment of the first episode of the cable TV show, Education: The Rest of the Story, which Ann-Eve Pedersen and I are hosting, made possible by Tucson Cable Access. The show airs Thursdays at 4:30pm on Cox channel 20 or Comcast channel 74. You can see the other two 10 minute segments here and here.
As well as debunking current education myths, as we did in the segment looking into the myth that our public schools are failures, we plan to present head-scratchers and jaw-droppers. This segment is one of those. It's about a newly created online database, inBloom, that will store huge amounts of information about students culled from school records and make the data available to private education companies. I posted about it here.
As well as being a betrayal of the sacred trust between schools, students and parents, this venture shows how easy it is for the corporate "education reformers" to put their half-baked, sometimes dangerous ideas into practice. The database is being created courtesy of a $100 million grant, mainly from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with some help from the Carnegie Corporation. Someone comes up with an idea, some billionaires kick it around for awhile, then say, "What do you need? A hundred million? Sure, who do I make the check out to?" The other corporate giant involved in this venture is Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which is creating the database.
You can watch the 10 minute segment below the fold.