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Lessons with logos: the debate over corporate sponsorships
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The Debate Over Corporate
With more Inc. than ink in k-12 classrooms, the friends – and foes – of corporate partnerships multiply
Sometime back in the late ‘50’s and Everybody wants into the schools. Eli Lilly, the makers of Prozac discusses
early 60’s, the first ripple of corporate
with pictures of chocolate bars, textbook
Submarine and Taco Bell in the cafeterias;
with its Previews of Progress
Campbell’s Soup’s offers its Prego brand
clout of the so-called ‘Youth Market’,
spaghetti sauce for ‘scientific’ comparison
and an A-list of name brand corporations,
business-education partnership that expects
children on environmental protection.
to reach some 200,000 students thisyear with its motivational message ofbusiness savvy and personal self-sufficiency.
of Canada, there are as many as 20,000sponsorship or partnership initiativesunderway in Canada. In 1997 the
Canadian Teachers’ Federation reportedthat, “In Ottawa alone, there are in the
neighborhood of 50 partnerships, upfrom about five in 1990. The VancouverBoard of Education’s ‘Partners in
By definition, a partnershipshould benefit both partnersbut to a growing chorus ofparents and educators, theylook more like Faustianbargains that turn cash-starvedschool boards into shills andteachers into corporatespokespersons.
How can a school with fastfood vendors in the cafeteriaand Coke machines inevery hall expect their lessonson healthy nutrition to beheeded?
urgent the school’s need – amounts to abreach of the fundamental trust betweenstudents, parents and the school.
food vendors in the cafeteria and Cokemachines in every hall expect their
lessons on healthy nutrition to be heeded?Do elementary school students have themedia savvy to understand that educationalmaterials provided by corporations don’tnecessary amount to an endorsement of
critics contend that the underlying logic
businesses and government organizations.
brief by the Delta Teachers’ Association
from 25 in 1992 to their current level of
responsibility government has to meet its
1992-93 to trade free television equipment
over 500.”1 This year, the top five recipient
obligation to fully fund public education.”
schools in the RBC Royal Bank’s ‘Partners
Echoing this view is Erika Shaker, Director
teen-oriented newscasts – including 2.5
minutes of commercials – in their class-
some 370 business partners. By definition,
Centre for Policy Alternatives. “I have
a partnership should benefit both partners
all the great corporate sponsors they’ve
formed and allied with various ministries
groups to keep YNN out of classrooms.
of the classroom is irresistible. Purchases
Commercialization in Ontario Schools
policies “to preserve the integrity and
millions – billions in the US. “Schools
Media and the Family. “There’s no other
deciding in July, 2000 to seek “a different
Nader, have railed against the ‘corporate
supplemental, optional classroom resource
of Canada to establish ethical guidelines
Pour les spécialistes du marketing, l’attrait de la
unfilled Internet-related jobs, forecast to
Robertson, author of No More Teachers,
No More Books: The Commercialization
years, a Who’s Who
of high tech firms
of Canada’s Schools,
Amérique du Nord, les plus grandes sociétés –
Microsoft, Taco Bell, Exxon – sont déjà des
partenaires du monde l’éducation, et selon le
see them as vital to relieving Canada’s
actuellement pas moins de 20 000 projets et
programmes de parrainage ou de partenariat au
prospects of the 70 percent of high school
Canada. Pour les opposants à la commercia-
graduates who do not go on to university.
lisation des écoles, le fait de troquer un accès aux
élèves contre de l’argent ou des produits est une
trahison de la confiance des parents, des élèves
specific programs, “like those of Cisco
de transition école-carrière ne sont pas
nécessairement un sujet controversée, ils
instantly to a high quality job, but provide
soulèvent néanmoins des questions sur le rôle des
the skill base for a wide variety of jobs
entreprises dans l’établissement du curriculum.
gasp of traditionalists refusing to yield
administrators are generally enthusiastic
to the forces of technological innovation
about school-to-career programs, response
and the marketplace, or the first prophetic
perennial fear among parents, politicians
of corporatism that will one day prove the
on the wrong side of the Digital Divide.
money – a lot more – and no political
party within a stone’s throw of power is
through the ‘90’s, these fears metastasized
full participation in society – only a part
1 Bernie Froese-Germain and Marita Moll, “Gift
Horses or Trojan Horses? Business-education
skills or life skills lurks a more funda-
Education Monitor 1
, no. 3 (Summer 1997).
2 “Peel Board Concludes YNN Agreement at
“There are concerns about these courses
Meadowvale Secondary School,” News Release,July 25, 2000.
businesses, schools, and individuals,”4
6 Heather-jane Robertson, “Shall We Dance?” Phi
‘Academies’ in 94 countries, including
(June 1999). Can be viewed online
based skills. In addition to their regular
D a n M c E w e n
is a Toronto-based
The School Years: Biosocial Development A Healthy Time Middle childhood , ages 7 to 11, is generally a happy, healthy time of life Size and Shape growth slows. Most 7-11 year olds gain 5-7 lbs. and 2˝ per year Childhood Obesity overweight and obese children =increasing. Overweight children =at higher risk of health problems suffer socially and academically Cau
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