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Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? 0th Edition

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0325006376
ISBN-10: 0325006377
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Editorial Reviews


“An invaluable combo of information and fiery inspiration, this book equips us to resist the business powers that be coiling themselves around public schools to squeeze out all respectful, individual teaching.”–Carol Bly, Author of Changing the Bully Who Rules the World

“Emery and Ohanian decode the Orwellian doublespeak on educationsuch as "no child left behindcutting through the smokescreen of testing that obscures the actual agenda of privatization.”–David Barsamian, founder and director of Alternative Radio

“Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian shout Jaccuse! to the Business Roundtable, the Education Trust, politicians, and the rest who are selling out America's children in the name of high standards. A must read for all citizens, not just parents and educators.”–Gerald L. Bracey, Author of On the Death of Childhood and the Destruction of Public Schools

“Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian have written a magnificent, carefully documented, and high-voltage manifesto to confront the degradation of our nation's schools by powerful corporations whose self-serving motives and assaultive tactics have developed into a relentless and dehumanizing juggernaut. Steam will be coming out of your ears by the time you finish this extraordinary book. It should be a wake-up call to all who care about the future of our schools and all who truly value children.”–Jonathan Kozol, Author of Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools

“Q: How many businessmen does it take to screw up American schools? A: Only 13, the number of members of the Business Roundtable assigned to the Business Coalition for Education Reform! Emery and Ohanian explain why this joke isn't funny, asking readers to raise their consciousness and their voices to take back public education.”–Patrick Shannon, Pennsylvania State University, author of Becoming Political, Too

“Deluged by demands to regiment the curricula, noosed by high stakes tests, many educators ask, How can I keep my ideals and still teach? With meticulous research engagingly presented, Emery and Ohanian offer teachers ways to both resist and create.”–Rich Gibson, San Diego State University

About the Author

Kathy Emery has taught high school history for sixteen years, has a Ph.D. in education from the University of California Davis, and is currently working with Teachers for Social Justice and the San Francisco Organizing Project. Her dissertation on which this book was based can be found at

Susan Ohanian is a longtime teacher and free-lance writer whose articles have appeared in periodicals ranging from the Atlantic and Washington Monthly to Phi Delta Kappan and Education Week. Visit for a wealth of information on education issues and to learn more about Susan Ohanian. You'll find commentary, cartoons, letters, resources, quotes and a word of the day offering children a provocative way to increase their vocabulary. Her email address is:


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann (July 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0325006377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325006376
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert DiGiulio on October 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Each page in "Why is Corporate America..." is rich, full of fascinating (and at times quite disturbing) detail about the status of our schools. More accurately, the status of corporate/government intrigue over education and schools. It's required reading for anyone concerned about education, be they layman or professional. As a life-long educator, I'm pretty upset over the way our representatives and corporate leaders have demeaned what are the most important institutions in our society--our public schools. Thank goodness there are writers like Ohanian and Emery telling it straight and honestly. A really important book at a really troubled time in public education.

PS The book is also quite rich with humor, irony, and human emotion.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By scholar-activist on September 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
People who are interested in both social justice and public education read dozens of books which inspire...and motivate...and challenge us. But we haven't read any books which spell out clearly how the policies we dislike are being created, because there haven't been any books that explain this - until now. I could quibble with one or two of the arguments made by Emery and Ohanian, but they have given us a place to start. They have provided an in-depth, materialist, fact-based analysis of the corporate movers who develop the policies which are disliked by most educators. So, if you're only going to read one more book on education this year, read this one.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jeremiah Jeffries, Public School Teacher on September 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian get together to take educators and anyone who will listen on a tour behind the public education policy scene and the impact of No-Child Left Behind. Their book "Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools" is a reference guide to the Business agenda for public schools and other enemies of public education. With appropriate outrage, they connect the dots of yesterday's failed reform initiative to today's current bogus reforms, scripted curriculums, "Blame-the-Teacher" attitudes, the national highstakes performance drive and the death of academic freedom. Kathy Emery & Susan Ohanian even devote an entire chapter to San Francisco & California education issues and how they relate to corporate interest. Throughout the book there is a sense of foreshadow as the language and the direction of SFUSD and public schools across the country in their current policies comes in sinister harmony with the progression of the de-democratization of public schools in Houston, Texas through the co-opting of teachers, parents, unions and most importantly public opinion and education discourse. A must read for everyone who is touched by education. A word of warning though, as the picture they paint becomes clear, you too will feel the anxiety, the outrage and the urgency to do something about what the Business community, Superintendents and other school district officials have in store for our children. One of the most useful and comprehensive books on whom and what's driving today's public school policy reform.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. ebook Writing G. Hedrick on August 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Susan's book is based on Emery's major thesis, but is written

with all the fury and fire that Susan can muster over

the insidious crawl of corporate America into the

public educational system. It is written in what I

call, 'Ohaniaspeak'. This is the Susan-language that

created such words as 'standardistos' and

'testocrats'. My favorite new phrase in 'Ohaniaspeak'

is 'to sit in navel-gazing silence'. You will love her

'Ten Commandments for Securing Funding for Systemic

Reform'. The book is heavily documented if

documentation is what you need.

It is a serious case of truth, if you can handle the truth.

Every teacher, every administrator, every Politician ought to read it. No one ever died from an inundation of truth!

One retired teacher speaking. gh
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Walt Gardner on September 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian have written an angry book about the devious ways that corporations and their allies have appropriated public schools to serve their narrow, selfish agenda. They document their indictment by showing how an organization with the benign-sounding name of the Business Roundtable has infiltrated virtually all aspects of schooling in this country through a network of organizations. They pull no punches in analyzing the implications for society.

They stumble only when they deal with the overall subject of testing. Readers unfamiliar with assessment will likely come away with the distinct belief that testing per se is worthy of demonization. That impression weakens their otherwise airtight case. Testing is an indispensable part of the instructional process, both for students and teachers, because it provides feedback. What Emery and Ohanian fail to point out is that when the right tests are used and the results properly incorporated into the learning process, everyone benefits.

It's time that the public wakes up to the way they are being manipulated. Unfortunately, the same forces that have hoodwinked the media so effectively up to this point will no doubt successfully enlist their help in discrediting this disturbing book.
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