Has Education Become Business-Driven
By Claire Miles - June 10, 2023

Education is an integral part of society and has always played a crucial role in shaping individuals and communities. There has been a growing concern, in recent years, that education has become more business-driven, with a focus on profit rather than the well-being of students. One way in which education has become more business-driven is through the proliferation of for-profit schools and universities. These institutions are owned by private companies and operated with the primary goal of generating profits for their shareholders. As a result, they often prioritize financial concerns over the quality of education they provide. For example, they may charge high tuition fees, offer few financial aid options, or hire less qualified faculty.

Another way in which education has become more business-driven is through the increasing use of standardized testing as a measure of student and school performance. While standardized testing can be a useful tool for measuring student progress, it has also been criticized for its emphasis on rote learning and its failure to adequately assess critical thinking and problem-solving skills. As a result, schools may focus more on teaching the test rather than fostering a well-rounded education for their students.

Getty Images/ DigitalVision/ Thomas Barwick

The privatization of education through charter schools is another trend that has contributed to the business-driven nature of education. Charter schools are publicly funded but independently operated from traditional public schools, and they often have more flexibility in terms of curriculum and teaching methods. While some charter schools have been successful in improving student achievement, others have been accused of prioritizing profits over the needs of their students.

The increasing use of technology in education has also contributed to the business-driven nature of education. Many schools and universities now rely on online learning platforms and digital tools to deliver course materials and track student progress. While technology can enhance the learning experience, it has also led to the commodification of education, with companies selling access to digital resources and charging fees for online courses. This can make education more expensive and less accessible for students from low-income backgrounds.