Robert Freeman spent 20 years in the computer industry and then left to teach high school. After five years in the classroom, he sees some connections between business and education, none of them good. I especially like his views on "privatization" of education.

Finally, we lie to ourselves that "privatization" will offer some kind of quick fix that will solve all of our problems. Privatization means corporate control of our schools. Corporations are wonderful things, but they only work for a profit. To make a profit from education you need to do two things: increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Increasing efficiency means removing variability while boosting output. This is a great formula for mass-producing hamburgers or semiconductors. It is a disaster for producing intelligence and character in children. Remember, intelligence and character come from carefully managed complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty, all delivered in a safe, patient, nurturing environment. This is the opposite of efficiency.

Thus, decreasing costs means cutting the salaries of already underpaid teachers, for they represent the vast bulk of the costs in education. But good teachers are expensive, as well they should be. They possess a magical combination of empathy, intelligence, ingenuity, patience and persistence — the very traits we’re trying to develop in our children. And the best teachers have the best options for work in other fields. They will be the first to go when told to become robotic readers of regimented curriculum.

How many parents are willing to turn their children over to companies whose principal goal is to make a profit off them? How many want them taught by the cheapest teachers, crammed into the largest classrooms, reciting only the most rote repetition? Yet, if it is to make a profit, that is the only plausible vision that mass privatized education has to offer us: McStudents.

The whole article is well worth your time.