Home > Corportization of Education > Big Corporations Run the Show

Big Corporations Run the Show

Why did high school suck? Why did you feel like you were wasting your time sitting in a classroom for eight hours? Why was your education cut short in high school? Those questions can be easily announced. It all deals with a new standard of education reform. One reason why many schools are falling down on an education bases is the whole fact that big corporations are running how schools manage their money and funds. This is one major topic that has hit the media today over education reform; should schools accept corporate funding?

Should schools accept corporate funding? Many people think that big corporations are helping school districts especially the poorer schools, but some people think that big corporations are running the schools with the way the school uses the funding money. Corporations have many tricks to make money from school funding. According to Randall Curren, “Corporations like Coca-Cola and Pepsi frequently bargain with school districts for exclusive rights to place their dispensing machines on school properties. General Mills deploys a “boxtop” scheme, whereby schools receive money for sending in boxtops collected by children at home: The scheme is advertised prominently in the participating schools by the use of posters that, of course, incorporate advertisements for the General Mills cereals to be used.” Also, teachers and schools are business agents for Scholastic catalogues because the more money the school can make from this book fair more free books that school gets from Scholastic. This corporation Scholastic appeals to kids because the more you buy from their book market you will get a “free gift” for your purchase. Big corporations use marketing skills and tools like these listed above to increase their profits. Big corporations use children, because they are so easy to manipulate and have easy access to mommies’ money.

Corporations also use exclusive agreement with means schools agree to give corporations exclusive rights to sell and promote their goods and/or their services in a school or district. In return, the school or district receives a percentage of the profits derived from the arrangement. Exclusive agreements may also entail granting a corporation the right to be a sole supplier of a product or service. (Molnar, 2000) Some examples of exclusive agreements would be Nike Athletics and Coca-Cola as listed above. Nike Athletics President and CEO Mark Parker signed a 9 million dollar school fund to Portland, Oregon Public Schools (PPS). Superintendent Phillips said, “Nike has long been a friend to Portland Public Schools. With this investment, Nike is taking its commitment to a whole new level, sharing their expertise and directly helping develop and fund innovative ideas. Its support for early childhood education and strong leadership in our schools will serve as a catalyst for success, benefiting every one of our students and the community at large.”

What most people do not know, is that Nike Athletics used that 9 million dollars as a tax break or a tax write off. When a school signs an exclusive agreement, like signing with Nike Athletics, you must wear/purchase their athletic equipment and according to Nike you must show the Nike logo. All this does is advertise the Nike product for the Nike Athletic company without paying for any advertisement fee. Another method that corporations use is incentive programs, which is a means to provide money, goods, or services to a school or district when students, parents, or staff engage in a specified activity, such as collecting product labels or cash register receipts. Some examples are: General Mills Boxtops, Campbell’s Soup’s Labels for Education and Pizza Hut Bookit!

Many people would argue that corporate funding helps schools especially low income school districts, but maybe corporations are the main reason why it seemed that your high school sucked. Because big corporations are funding schools, those corporations can manage how those schools use that money, instead of newer technology, newer issued books, and more teachers; your high school was probably like mine, same old computer year after year, books that are older than the teachers and same teachers that have been there since the high school was opened.

When will the day come when corporations will fund schools for the sole fact of funding a school for higher education instead of helping their product succeed? I think our education is more important than how successful a corporation is, or advisement for cooperation. I think it is time for a new change to our education, because it is our children that will suffer from the hands of poor education.


Alex Molnar, Giving the Kids the Business


Randall Curren, Philosophy of Education


  1. Anon
    December 8, 2010 at 5:05 am

    I love this one, for the main fact it so sad and true that most people wouldn’t even realize the deceit that these big corporations are doing to even our kids with stuff like this. Sure it looks like red roses and ice cream on the outside, but do these corporations even care about our children’s success? Probably not as you said, just making the money from all the products they sell and free advertisement is usually the only thing going into their already deep pockets. I also like how you said mommies money and not daddy’s such niche audiences is what these corporations look for like so to do little things like this. I mean if taking your example if I may, If Nike dropped nine million into just one school in every state I could bet they wouldn’t even feel a dent in their total overall money making. I mean the paid Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods over I think 100 million just do to a few commercials for them in one year. Not to mention they continued to do so for how many years? If they have money just to throw around why can’t they just do so for the good of our country, if this keeps up within a few decades the US may not even exists as the US anymore. Where would their money go if and when that happened? Who knows they may not even care if that happened because no matter where the money comes from I doubt they would really care just so long as they continue to make all the money that they roll in every year to begin with. So I’m really glad you chose to show us this information, though most people probably won’t even take a second thought about it still brings light on some dark business for our children’s education.

  2. December 8, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I can honestly say that I found this a great read! Ever since I was told to look into education reform for a writing of an essay, I’ve been overwhelmed with information leading to the education reform movement. I really had no idea that this was going on. I mean, when I was going to high school I can remember back to Pepsi logo’s being around the basketball court, but I never paid much attention. What a huge eye opener! I can see how that could possibly be a problem with our education system, though I do not think it is such a big problem as Anon predicts.
    “.. the US may not even exist as the US anymore”? I think that might just be a bit of a dramatic outcome. I cannot really blame the schools for wanting to branch out for more money with the standardized tests causing such a flaw. Do you think that the schools might NEED to go elsewhere since the test takes so much money away from schools for not teaching to it?
    Think about this problem logically, rather than emotionally. If the school were losing funding because it has a high rate of special needs children, would you not look elsewhere for funding if the state has no leniency? If I were as passionate towards teaching as most of the teachers that I have come across; I would find another way to keep my school open and up-to-date with materials as best I could. I really think that most schools do want what is best for their students, most teachers do, and all of parents. I really doubt that most people chose an educating career, spending so much time in school, as a backup.

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