NCLB has helped to turn U.S. education into a business. Many educational policies have allowed for the different sectors of schooling to be privatized, taking more power away from the people in the communities in which these schools are located. Saltman attacks the notion of EMOs and their affects on schooling. Because education has been given to the market, the public feels like they are fighting for a limited amount of resources (Saltman, 56). This beliefs allows business owners to conduct a school like a commercial business, allowing for monetary values to be attached to individual students and turning schooling into a for-profit business. But schooling is a business, isn't it? Our understanding of American schooling has been disheveled by the NCLB policy, neoliberal values and deregulation (Kovacs, 2). I believe that NCLB has allowed for schooling to not be seen as important and the privatization of the educational market has the power away from the general public.
The privatization of education has turned education into a for-profit industry, allowing business people to instill business-like values on students turning them into dollar signs. However, there is no proof that test scores will help students in our society economically (Kovacs, 9). We have learned that standardized tests are designed for the culture of power (white, middle-class, male), however we allow them to continue to be used to determine educational advancement. NCLB still has work to do with closing the achievement gap but that cannot be completed with the strict rules that have been put in place due to the policy (11). It seems that the gap has grown because more students are being excluded from having access to a quality education.
I do not want to be a pessimist, but it seems like NCLB is not working. It has only helped to turn society farther away from schooling and perpetuate the divide among communities. We are confusing choice, freedom, and access. Not all students have access to the same resources allowing education to be a place where more social divides occur. Money has allowed us to turn away from the original purpose of schooling. We are no longer concerned about creating better citizens, but more about beating Japan in the next technology race. The privatization of the educational market informs the public that they will have more “choice” in educating their children, allowing them to attend any public, private, or charter school in their area. Problems occur when everyone does not have the same access to this choice. School is now a place where students and administrators are judged for producing poor standardized testing results. We have allowed the teaching profession to be dehumanized and devalued (Saltman, 74). We must learn to care about students as individuals and not by the test scores they produce. This can happen if the power is given back to the public, allowing the community to have a presence in schools. We have gotten too far away from community-based education. We have to understand that all levels of society can aid in the education of children (Kovacs, 13). But we must not confuse this with tolerating people without educational experience to be leaders in our classrooms.