Investigations Unearth Systemic Corruption in K-12 School Leadership—and Students and Teachers Lose Out
Much of the blame lies with an education reform movement that has exhorted schools to operate more like businesses and mimic corporate hiring processes.
By Jeff Bryant
Revelations of corruption in business and government are becoming an everyday affair, with example after example of people in leadership positions using elevated status for personal gain rather than for the public good. The deluge of stories about lying and cheating politicians, industry lobbyists, and corporate executives can lead to easy cynicism about how things work in business and politics.
But what about when corruption flourishes in public schools?
A recent series of investigative articles I reported for Our Schools, an education project of the Independent Media Institute, found numerous instances of school purchases and personnel being steered toward decisions that rewarded opportunistic leaders and well-connected companies rather than students and teachers. And even though a number of such exposés suggest systemic corruption, media accounts generally frame these scandals as singular examples of corrupt behavior.