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Public Education and Private Profit

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In six or seven states, kids were asked ridiculous questions on a standardized test. Then, New York's 8th graders were asked about a pineapple that challenges a hare to a race. Since the pineapple can't move, forest animals suspect it has a trick up its sleeve and bet on it to win. But the hare wins and the animals eat the pineapple. The moral is: pineapples don't have sleeves. The story — and the four questions kids were asked about it -- are so obviously stupid that education officials have announced they won't count in official scoring. The resulting ridicule helped fuel the growing backlash against No Child Left Behind and other education "reforms" based on tests devised by private corporations. Parents' and teachers' groups, and some churches, are among those complaining that education is being sacrificed to the profit motive at public expense. What are the consequences for taxpayers and — more important — for students?

Credits

Guests:
Diane Ravitch - New York University - @DianeRavitch, Kathleen Porter-Magee - Thomas B. Fordham Institute - @kportermagee, Alex Molnar - National Education Policy Center, Dru Stevenson - South Texas College of Law

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg, Anna Scott, Lata Pandya