As honcho of an outfit called Ignite! Learning, he goes around to school districts hustling a computerized learning center dubbed COW, for Curriculum On Wheels. Made up to look like a purple cow, it's wheeled into classrooms where it uses jingles and cartoon videos to "teach" students. Each COW costs $3,800 and at least 13 school districts have used No Child Left Behind money to purchase them. That money is primarily intended to help disadvantaged kids learn reading and math – yet, Neil's COWs don't teach either of these subjects. Curious.
My favorite part of the story:
Ignite's ethics are also on display in a company video on its website. A Texas teacher named Lori gives a glowing testimonial about how COW did wonders for a young student named India. Only, Lori is really not India's teacher. She's Ignite's marketing director. Ignite says Lori was not lying... just role playing.
Hightower doesn't mention a few other ethically challenged players in the education "reform" movement including Junk Bond King and convicted felon Micahel Milken, the moneybags for K12 Inc. Or William "The Book of Virtues" Bennett, whose book shares stories of how we all should all be living our lives while he is racking up huge gambling losses.
On a side note:
Happy Thanksgiving to All!