Hidden Markets : Public Policy and the Push to Privatize Education book cover
2nd Edition

Hidden Markets
Public Policy and the Push to Privatize Education

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 20, 2021
ISBN 9780367366186
April 20, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
200 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Across the U.S., 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

Table of Contents

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 

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


This book should not be interpreted as a polemic against NCLB or private providers, but instead it should be seen as turning the light on in the basement and exposing the dark corners....Burch is masterful at conveying a knowledge of the layers of policy in NCLB."--Education Review, February 2010

"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