Even casual observers of Great Britain's phone-hacking scandal know that News Corp., the Rupert Murdoch-owned conglomerate at the center of the controversy, is also responsible for Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and other influential U.S. media interests.
But how many know that News Corp. also is expanding its influence in education holdings?
Murdoch isn't a philanthropist in the mold of a Bill Gates or Eli Broad, but like members of the Billionaire Boys' Club – as Diane Ravitch describes them – he believes he knows the key to improving education. In Murdoch's case, it's the software produced by Wireless Generation, which News Corp. paid $360 million to acquire a 90 percent interest. The company sells software to schools, most of them funded by taxpayers. The Indiana Department of Education's most recent contract with Wireless Generation was for about $200,000.
Murdoch hired former NYC schools chief Joel Klein as CEO of News Corp.'s education division.
If the education division's ethical standards are anything like they appear to be in the news division, taxpayers beware.