Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Teachers for Sale

In my most recent small adventures courtesy of the Association of Test Publishers, I've received an email list of teacher name banks for sale by state and region--K-12 through Community College and University levels. Considering all the hubbub in recent years about identity protection, telemarketing and "opting out" lists, it's important for instructors to know that their professional contact information is being bought and sold.
How cheap are you?
Browse K-12 email lists
Browse 4-year University email lists

A few highlights:
  • North Dakota K-12 teachers (9,000+ contacts) are a bargain at $99.
  • California K-12 teachers (100,000+ contacts) go for $1249.
  • The whole country (1.7 million+ contacts) is a steal at $3999.
My last year as English department chair, I kept every catalogue, brochure and "special offer" that landed in my mailbox. By June, I had filled a giant plastic tub to past brimming. Apple logos everywhere. Plump kid faces and pretty teacher-ladies in front of green chalkboards. All the trappings and gimmicks of easiness and user-friendliness. What irritated me most were the packets from Cliffs and Sparks Notes, now billed as "study guides." But when I thought about it, I had to admit it made perfect sense: in a curriculum where novels are seen as "non-standard" material, who wouldn't like to teach the Cliffs Notes version? I thought about the generation of students raised on reading-for-testing, some of whom will become teachers themselves.

This insider's barrage of names for sale may not be surprising for professionals who deflect marketers on a day-to-day basis, but at least it provides us with a massive consumer's view of the educational meat market.

Exercise your right to opt-out.

1 comment:

starbender said...

Seems everyone is being Bought and Sold nowadays!