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Privatization of America’s Public Institutions

The Story of the American Sellout

Lawrence Baines

Privatization of America’s Public Institutions describes the transformation of the military, K–12 public schools, public universities and colleges, and prisons into enterprises focused on generating profits for a select few. In many cases, privatization has limited accessibility, promoted segregation, fueled declining standards, increased costs, and reduced quality.

“Kudos to Lawrence Baines for this gracefully clear, readable, and often astonishing explanation of significant connections among recent radical transformations of US military, correctional, and educational practices by means of intense corporate commercialization, often at the expense of the common good. Privatization of America’s Public Institutions offers critical understanding of complex, fundamental, and ethically troubling US cultural change to which educated citizens have too little access. It offers deep insight into what is at stake for our nation’s future in the taken-for-granted movement to privatize our most vital public institutions.” Susan Laird, Past President, American Educational Studies Association, Center for Leadership Ethics and Change

“Professor Baines has done an extraordinary job of shining a light on the fundamental changes going on within public institutions. But more than that, he has identified that our democracy and culture are on a dangerous trajectory away from the common good and towards profits for a very few. He shows the results of our political choices and how these choices have negatively impacted our very civilization. Highly recommended!” Robert Ellis, philanthropist and entrepreneur

“The privatization of our military, our K–12 schools, and our prisons has been going on at least since the presidency of Ronald Reagan. But how far have we gone with this privatization, and at what cost—in dollars, in measures of efficiency, and in our moral sense of ourselves? Lawrence Baines explores these questions in this excellent, organized, and impassioned book—a valuable, insightful read.” Steven P. Jones, Professor of Educational Foundations, Missouri State University; author of Blame Teachers: The Emotional Reasons for Educational Reform