2nd Edition

Hidden Markets Public Policy and the Push to Privatize Education

By Patricia Burch Copyright 2021
    226 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Across the United States, test publishers, software companies, and research firms continue to take advantage of the revenues made available by federal policies like the No Child Left Behind Act, Race to the Top, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In effect, the education industry has assumed a central place in the day-to-day governance and administration of public schools—a previously hidden trend that has begun to be a ubiquitous component of public education. Drawing on analytic tools, Hidden Markets examines specific domains that the education industry has had particular influence on—home schooling, remedial instruction, management consulting, test development, data management, and staff development. With updated and new material added, this second edition also highlights how technology and technology policy shape the conditions for teachers’ work, the role of natural disasters as education market opportunities, and the connection between racism and educational privatization. Burch's analysis demonstrates that only when we subject the education industry to systematic and in-depth critical analysis can we begin to demand more corporate accountability and organize to halt the slide of education funds into the market.

    Additional updates include:

    • Discussion of the role that policy elites play in allowing CEOS to regulate the student identity market
    • Examination of the rise of online tutoring engineered in part by the No Child Left Behind Act
    • New chapter that offers an updated road map for policymakers and activists concerned about the issues raised within the book

    1 Trends and Origins;    2 Inside the Market;  3 Privatization and Its Intermediaries;  4 Shadow Privatization: Local Experiences with Supplemental Education Services;  5 Invisible Influences: For-Profit Firms and Virtual Charter Schools;    6 In the Interstices: Benchmark Assessments, District Contracts, and NCLB;  7 Out from the Shadows: Contracts for Remote Digital Instruction;    8 Working for Transparency;  Appendix A. Research Design and Methodology ;  Appendix B. New Privatization Trends and Questions Conjoined;  Appendix C. Characteristic Companies 


    Patricia Burch is Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Center on Education Policy, Equity and Governance at the University of Southern California.

    "The updated and expanded second edition of Patricia Burch’s Hidden Markets comes at exactly the right time. This new edition extends the analysis of what was already a volume that opened our eyes to the hidden realties and effects of profit-making and privatization in education."— Michael W. Apple, from the Series Editor Introduction

    "In the current era of 'school reform', competition, choice and privatization of services have been viewed as the drivers of change. Not only have these strategies failed to deliver the improvements in schools that were promised, they have also contributed to corruption in the management of public schools and the further deterioration of schools in low-income urban areas. In this new edition of this important book, Tricia Burch explains why and how this has occurred. Through close examination of the ways in which private corporations have influenced the operation of school districts, Burch shows why privatization is a threat to the future of public education and she shows us how it might be resisted. Well documented and thoroughly engaging, this book will be an invaluable resource to those who seek to protect public education for future generations." — Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Dean, Rossier School of Education, Distinguished Professor of Education, University of Southern California

    "In an era when it is increasingly clear that we must challenge our fundamental assumptions about how schooling works, Patricia Bruch’s timely second edition does exactly that – questioning not only our oldest assumptions but also newer ones, such as about the role and impact of privatization. Indeed, the book raises *the* fundamental question to be asked about the implementation of every education reform: what are the unintended consequences of our ostensibly well-intentioned policies and whose interests and wellbeing are ultimately (dis)served as a result." — Ebony N. Bridwell-Mitchell, Harvard Graduate School of Education

    "Strongly grounded in theory and based on rich empirical research, Patricia Burch’s Hidden Markets reveals the complex inter-linkages between neoliberal education policy in the US (NCLB and subsequent developments) and private sector interests. She points to evidence that markets have failed to deliver high quality education and to the serious implications that the new privatization has for equity and the democratic purposes of education. These are concerns that need to be urgently reflected upon and researched across the globe. Burch’s important and insightful Hidden Markets is most timely." — Geetha B. Nambissan, former Professor of the Sociology of Education, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.