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Collateral Damage. Corporatizing Public School: A Threat to Democracy

reviewed by Roslyn Arlin Mickelson - 2002

coverTitle: Collateral Damage. Corporatizing Public School: A Threat to Democracy
Author(s): Kenneth J. Saltman
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham
ISBN: 0742501027 , Pages: 125, Year: 2000
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Kenneth Saltman’s important book arrives not a moment too soon as cash strapped public schools contemplate heightened commercialism in order to raise the money necessary to offer, in some cases, basic education and in other instances, "frills" such as athletic programs and cultural enrichments. The author’s trenchant critique of corporatization of public education makes the case that such commercialism threatens democracy. Commercialism reflects neoliberal shifts from understanding education as a public good to considering it a private good. Saltzman argues that neoliberal privatization, the transfer of public institutions into private hands, is fundamentally at odds with democracy, the development of a critical citizenry, and institutions that foster social justice and equality. Collateral Damage’s title, as Saltman notes in Chapter 4, has several meanings: indirect damage, as in Timothy McVeigh’s depiction of his murder of children in Oklahoma City; kinship damage, as in the notion that we all will be affected by commercialization because of our common interests in the survival and health of democratic public education; and capital damage,... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 1, 2002, p. 79-98
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10770, Date Accessed: 7/28/2021 4:44:55 PM

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About the Author
  • Roslyn Mickelson
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    E-mail Author
    ROSLYN ARLIN MICKELSON is a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation, Mickelson is investigating the equity effects of market-oriented reforms on students, particularly those from low-income and ethnic minority families. She is the author of ‘‘Subverting Swann: The Effects of First- and Second-Generation Segregation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’’ (AERJ, 38: 215–252, 2001) and Children on the Streets of the Americas: Globalization, Homelessness, and Education in the United States, Brazil, and Cuba (Routledge, 2000).
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