Chicago Public Schools was looking to trim the $2 million a year it was spending on Microsoft Exchange and another email service; it had opened bidding for a less expensive program.

A committee that included administrators familiar with Microsoft, as well as Ms. Magiera, reviewed presentations from several companies. In March 2012, the district chose Google.

Google’s ability to test its products on such a monumental scale has stoked concerns about whether the tech giant is exploiting public-school teachers and students for free labor. “It’s a private company very creatively using public resources — in this instance, teachers’ time and expertise — to build new markets at low cost,” said Patricia Burch, an associate professor of education at the University of Southern California.

So, public schools are deprived of resources because the US doesn’t seem to value public education at all, so they are naturally perfect markets for companies like Google that con offer no- or low-cost services that bolster their primary business, i.e., selling ads.

This isn’t to say that Google isn’t providing some very useful services, but again it feels like a signifier of our country’s widening class divide. The less you have, the more you’re exploited by corporations.

14 thoughts on “Chicago Public Schools was looking to trim the $2 million a year it was spending on Microsoft Exchange and another…

  1. Robert Bohl Probably, but this seems like a few steps removed from that. Google is doing end-runs around districts, and their ultimate goal, really, is lock-ing in generations of children to their platform. They’re essentially harvesting people.

    And, really, my bigger beef is with public education. This would not be an issue if schools had the resources they needed.