The Education Industrial Complex

There has always been an education industrial complex. The education industry is over six hundred billion dollars a year in terms of the amount of money that is spent by all the school districts in the country on private contracts, and consultants, and textbooks, and testing. And you know, it’s just, it’s a huge, huge business. But what I found interesting about the education reform movement is that they also have their education industrial complex. So when somebody who is very friendly to the education reform movement becomes a leader of the school district…all of these consultants just suddenly appear.

Dale Russakoff recently spoke about her new book on NPR. The whole episode is worth a listen, but the brief discussion of what Russakoff calls the Education Industrial Complex is especially interesting. I am passionate about improving education in the US and the world, but have always had a bit of an internal conflict over the reform movement. Russakoff hits on part of the reason for that internal conflict when she points out that the reform movement is not devoid of its own industrial complex.