Millions of dollars and an exciting career are huge attractions for people to do well by themselves. But we yet have no proof that any of this has been doing well by the kids. In fact, the evidence suggests Common Core will spectacularly fail children and society. Shouldn’t people earn money only for demonstrated success, instead of promised success? In a free market, they would. But we all have to buy Common Core, whether we like it or not, and we have no ability to demand proof that it works before the sale. These sweetheart deals are only going one way, and it’s not ours.Making money off of public education is nothing new. The public service to private business model is a time-honored tradition. There's the military-industrial complex and then there's the public ed-complex. To some, though, making money this way is considered more legitimate pre-Bill Gates than post-Gates. Take Gates out of the equation and you have very similar money-making involved in the No Child Left Behind reforms. Even when big time reforms aren't in the making, there have always been textbook publishers touting a new book to sell or private education companies telling school administrators what new bells and whistles teachers need to improve student learning. There have always been former government officials who peddle their own public education "reforms." There have always been tutoring companies, teacher training companies, and curriculum writers. Somehow, pre-Gates, it was legitimate. Now (for some reason) it isn't any longer.
Let's look at the list of the top ten money-makers. Of the ten, six had in their past some sort of government position. The remaining four had connections through universities (historically, a fairly typical and consistent way to make money off public education). Just look to University of Chicago for this country's favorite math fad--Everyday Math. Untold sums of money have been made through the development, sale, training, manipulatives, and remediation (don't forget the Sylvan, Kumon, and Mathnasium tutoring required to fix the kids messed up by it) involved with Everyday Math.
The realization people fail to make is that public education is, and always will be, a money-making proposition for some people--the agitators, the fixers, the wonks, etc. Because public education is supposed to be the one-size-fits-all answer for the masses, any and every member of the masses will always be unsatisfied with it....which leads to all the reforms and fixes that will continue to leave everyone unsatisfied. So, we should all either be okay with people profiting, or we shouldn't and end it.