CORPORATIONS IN THE CLASSROOM
You know something insidious is creeping into America’s public education system when parents in Oregon must sell their own blood plasma to fund their school’s survival.
From the creators of CultureJam, this entertaining but sober new film investigates why many school boards have struck a Faustian bargain allowing fast-food chains, hardware giants and other corporate interests to peddle products in classrooms. With governments slashing funding and schools scrambling to pay for playgrounds, television sets and books, some say it’s a corporate offer school trustees simply cannot afford to refuse.
Or can they? CORPORATIONS IN THE CLASSROOM captures marketers marketing and PTA groups protesting the myriad new corporate influences entering our classrooms — from M&M-sponsored math books and naming rights for the gym floor to McTeacher nights and School Bus Radio ads. This emerging unregulated, multibillion-dollar industry is profoundly affecting our children, and some school districts are fighting back.
America becomes the cautionary tale in CORPORATIONS IN THE CLASSROOM as they have fallen prey to rampant consumerism in the classroom. But the tide of public opinion is turning in the U.S., as right and left wing groups are joining forces to take back their classrooms. French Canada represents idealism in action as they have successfully prohibited advertising to children by law for the past 20 years, although there is a new movement that thinks it’s time to change this. And English Canada is completely divided on the issue as some districts are kicking out Coke sponsorships from their schools, while others are auctioning off naming rights.
Featuring Susan Linn, Harvard psychologist and author of Consuming Kids; Heather-Jane Robertson, author of No More Teachers, No More Books; Alex Molnar, the leading education policy expert from Arizona State University; BBDO Marketing guru Chip Walker; curriculum specialist Anita Chapman; principals, corporate representatives, teachers, parents & students, Corporations in the Classroom presents a critical yet balanced analysis of the issues across North America.