September 4, 2018  (Web Review)

Education Inc.

(2015) 59 min. DVD: $34.95 ($150 w/PPR): public libraries; $280: community colleges; $350: colleges & universities. DRA. Media Education Foundation (www.mediaed.org). PPR. ISBN: 978-1-944024-00-0.

Reviewer rating: 2.0/4

Filmmaker Brian Malone aims his camera at a school board election in Douglas County, CO, which is framed as a fight between parents that expect the public schools to be financed and operated by the government and those advocating for education reform under the umbrella of “school choice” (the latter, according to the filmmaker, are more interested in making profits at the expense of families and communities). Malone, who vehemently opposed the school choice option, argues that privatizing certain aspects of the grade school education system is starving neighborhood schools of needed funds, particularly in at-risk communities. Malone also complains that some candidates for school board elections are backed by billionaires eager to cash in on privatizing schools, and he is displeased about some new expenses forced upon parents and students. Unfortunately, instead of offering a balanced look at a complex subject, Education Inc. is a highly emotional film that highlights Malone’s anger and concern over what he considers to be the corruptive elements ruining the U.S. educational system. Optional. Aud: C, P. (P. Hall)