chapter  10
Controlling the Power Over Knowledge: Selling the Crisis for Self-Serving Gains
Pages 22

Controlling knowledge about schools plays a large role in shaping public opinion about, among other things, the view that school systems are failing and are in dire need of not just reform but complete restructuring.1 For decades, mass media has shaped public opinion on public education to influence policy and reform agendas. Since the report, A Nation at Risk, and more recently the No Child Left Behind Act, the general public has repeatedly heard that failing school systems are directly impacting American economic viability in the global marketplace.2 How are the reports put together? Who puts these reports together? How are the reports funded? I wish to “push the envelope” in this chapter by highlighting the conflicts of interest among government reports and the corporation-saturated panels who produce them. Indeed, in light of the gross mishandling of funds and information revealed in recent and continuing corporate scandals, one wonders why businesses are continually turned to for advice and input on educational management issues. This chapter argues that the control of knowledge about the public school system has been and continues to be a calculated plan by neoconservatives, who have taken hold of education reform since the Reagan and Bush eras.