The “Customer Service” Model of Education

September 2004 — Volume 8, Number 2

***TESL-EJ Forum***

The “Customer Service” Model of Education

Karen Stanley, editor
<karen.stanley@cpcc.edu>

http://people.cpcc.edu/~skh6004e/

In many circumstances, when education has relied largely or completely on financial support from governments, it has been possible to orient priorities to goals other than financial solvency. Recently, administrations of various types, often governmental at local, regional, or national levels, have reallocated funds once targeted for education, or simply had less money to distribute overall. As a result, in a number of ESL and EFL educational environments, systems that in the past have not had to think overly much in terms of budget are now being confronted with serious financial concerns. When educational budgets are reduced on a large scale, the impact can be seen in how different institutions of learning reorient themselves during a budgetary crisis.

The discussion of one approach, that of the student-as-customer, took place during November 2003 on the TESL-L, TESLJB-L, and HEIS-L email lists. Excerpts from those postings appear in the article below. Authors whose email addresses are listed welcome feedback.


Sheelagh Conway, <sheelaghconwayYAHOO.COM>
I was somewhat taken aback to find a “customer service-orientation” listed as a requirement for a position …

Having taught in many countries – Ireland, England, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Canada and now Korea – I am fully cognizant of some of the alarming changes that have been happening in education more generally over the last two decades. However, I always wince when I come across the rawness of the discourse, imported from the field of business no less, to describe the goals of education.

This issue is not something new, of course. Perhaps the days of the devoted teacher like Robert Mitchum in that wonderful film Ryan’s Daughter, toiling alone in his little house by the Kerry sea and playing Bach on his gramophone are gone. (I am of course partial to this imagery and the idea of teaching-as-vocation, having come from a small village in the West of Ireland.)

The critical question is how many [people] … would apply for a position with these goals stated so blatantly by the employer. I do not wish to be accused of being “unrealistic”, of course. Indeed maybe I am unrealistic. Perhaps the issue we are encountering is the meanings we can assign to “customer-service” education in a postmodern world of globalization where money is the bottom line, the customer rules, and the teacher is back to the Hegelian master-slave dichotomy. How then can teachers who wish to maintain their integrity navigate themselves in such choppy waters when increasingly we are socially organized as “the other”? More particularly, what is the meaning of education at all?


David Miller, <david.millergmx.net>

Sheelagh Conway wrote:

“I was somewhat taken aback to find a “customer service-orientation” listed as a requirement for a position…”

I work as a business English teacher at a business college in Germany. We are facing ever stiffer competition and the government has introduced new legislation calling for accreditation, modularization, student evaluations, etc. I realize we are way behind other countries but even though we teach business and embrace the customer ethos, it seems that there is great resistance to the student as customer metaphor at my college. I conducted seven open-ended interviews with professors and my findings showed that the resistance centred around the fear of passivity connoted by the word ‘customer’ and the fear of lower quality. Positively stated, teachers felt that they were the ones who had to set standards.

Personally, I have my doubts regarding the appropriateness of this metaphor in education. I think ‘respect’ for students or ‘caring’ seem to make more sense to me. I think there is quite a bit of evidence in the quality education literature that education is a special kind of service, distinct from many commercial transactions, such as going to a bank or a restaurant. On the other hand, I also think it is a myth that all commercial transactions are passive and superfiical. Many relationships in business are long-term and approach a friendship. [-1-]


Thom Simmons, <thomas.simmonsnzic.ac.nz>
Director of Studies, Training and Technology Transfer;
NSW TAFE Diploma Programme Supervisor and Faculty Manager;
Meridian Institute of Business & Information Technology at New Zealand
International Campus, Somme Road, Heretaunga, Upper Hutt, Wellington,
New Zealand

David Miller wrote:

“Personally, I have my doubts regarding the appropriateness of this metaphor in education. . . .”

My take on this, is if it works, if it leads you to a better model, then use this perspective. If not, avoid it. But I would urge you to at least look at it. This issues is a good example of how we read different meanings into words and models. I tend to treat adult students as customers and those who are not adults as people who need to be cared for. Another aspect of the student as customer, for me anyway, has nothing to do with selling them a lack of quality. We have ample examples in commerce. If the customer wants to buy a Mercedes SLR McLaren at a 1990 Honda Civic price, you do not chop the car up, remove the upholstery, drop a used Civic engine in and slap on some cheapo tires. The deal is for the package you are selling and you do not deviate so far that it is totally different. The student as a customer comes into the institute and they buy the package you sell with the proviso that they have to uphold their end of the bargain. My view anyway.


Bill Templer, <bill_templerYAHOO.COM>
Lao-American College, Vientiane, Lao PDR

Sheelagh raises some important questions about education & business under neoliberalism. A new e-journal that centers on this is the JOURNAL FOR CRITICAL EDUCATION POLICY STUDIES edited by Dave Hill out of Northampton/UK.

Many relevant articles in first two issues:

http://www.jceps.com/index.php?pageID=home&issueID=1


Dave Kees, <davkeespublic.guangzhou.gd.cn>
http://www.davekees.com>

Guangzhou, China

David Miller brings up an interesting concern of about the hazards of making the student the boss. We don’t want to allow the student to dictate the training in ways that are not beneficial.

But this tendency towards a “customer-service” outlook has been brought on by the education system’s failure to be sensitive to the needs of students and the role they will need to play in society. Indeed, sometimes the academic system has been arrogant in its attitude to what students need and don’t need and consequently have ill equipped students to do their jobs. Simply, academia got out of touch with the real world students live in.

More and more, industry finds it has to (re)train students in even the basic skills they need because schools did not do it. But from talking with HR professionals I’ve found industry has used ‘school’ more as a sort of ‘survivors’ endurance program believing that if students can make it all the way through school they’ll probably make it through their company.

We, as TEFL professionals, must be sensitive to the feelings of our students and do everything possible to create not only an educationally sound experience but also a satisfying one. [-2-]


Ms. Arlyn Freed, M. Ed, M.A.-Linguistics/TESL, <arlynou2hotmail.com>
http://www.eslhome.com

“Customer-service” education:

Having begun my career in business, I always approached my students as “customers” and “clients” to a certain extent. I often work with them at the start of a course to work on personal goals (in addition to those set for the class as a whole) and we try to meet those goals throughout the course.

However, I have also had the unpleasant experience of being held accountable to every student’s lament about too much homework or disliking a certain activity. I spent a good amount of my free time justifying my rationale to the director and kow-towing to students who complained. This attitude strangled my authority in the classroom (I had none) and was a disservice to those who really were there to learn, as I was forced to drop challenging assignments for lighter, more entertaining ones. Overall, these classes made less progress and reached fewer objectives, with the exception of those students willing to work with me privately.

I only had this negative experience one time — usually program directors are very supportive of teachers in the classroom. Additionally this was the first and only time my authority was challenged by students (before or since), which also leads me to think that part of this attitude was perpetuated by the overall perception (by the program) of students as customers.

I understand that money motivates most programs and, especially today, we must woo students to ESL programs and keep them happy. But I do not agree that this happiness has to come at a cost to the teacher as I have described above. Mutual respect is an expected given when I walk into my classrooms. Directors and the programs they manage have to ensure that the authority of the teacher goes unchallenged, while still managing to placate fickle palates. We, as teachers, cannot let money dictate ALL of our actions (as it would in a business customer service environment) or we will not see the progress our students expect and pay for. Then they really will have a reason to complain.


Costas Gabrielatos, <costasGABRIELATOS.COM>
Dept. of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University, UK
http://www.gabrielatos.com>

Some thoughts on the ‘learner as client’ issue.

Traditionally, the balance of power in teaching has been clearly in favour of the teachers. The constant talk about teachers having to be sensitive and understanding underlines the fact that we can often choose not to. Actually, despite all the hype about learner-centredness, ELT is still quite teacher-centred.

The reasons are interconnected. In most contexts, the learners lack power, because of age or socioeconomic status (e.g. immigrants). In state or private educational institutions, parents pay the state (through taxation) or the private school, which then pays the teachers – making it difficult to connect learners with the pay check. The state system in particular creates the illusion of free education – which takes even the parents out of the financial-transaction picture. Because of this, teachers may feel that they are answerable only to the school or the educational system, and in some cases they may even feel free to pursue their own personal version of ‘education’.

In the same contexts, teachers have the power to award grades, write reports and pass/fail students. Last but not least, an overarching reason is the perception of teachers as pedagogues, in the sense of moulders of personalities and shapers of characters. (More on this last point at http://www.gabrielatos.com/MereTeachers.htm).

The view of learners as clients radically re-adjusts the balance of power. For those who have had freelance experience and have taught professionals, either one-to-one or in-company, this view is self-evident. For those with school-type experience, the shift in balance may come as a shock. [-3-]

Of course, just as some teachers have abused their power, so will some learner-clients. But this doesn’t change the fact that teachers provide a paid service, which makes the recipients of this service, and their ‘sponsors’, clients. The way to go about it is for some sort of contract to be drawn, so that both sides can assume their responsibilities and exercise their rights.


Joanne Pettis, <jpettisgov.mb.ca>
Coordinator, Adult ESL Curriculum Development & Implementation
Adult Language Training Branch, Manitoba Labour & Immigration CANADA

As usual, Costas Gabrielatos is very persuasive in the points he presents regarding education and customer service. However, I have to disagree with his observation: “The view of learners as clients radically re-adjusts the balance of power.”

I don’t think seeing learners as clients readjusts any balance of power at all. I think it’s just a replacement term with less force than the word student connotes. As teachers, specifically ESL or EFL teachers, we have a professional responsibility to identify our learners’ needs and develop appropriate pedagogical responses. Our pedagogical responsibilities require us to have the necessary professional knowledge and skills, and as teachers we are also accountable to our students. That accountability is inherent in the teacher/student relationship. Some teachers are, no doubt, unskilled and uninformed. Some may abuse their power; however, that is not because they have students and not clients. Calling students “clients” will not change in any way the relationship they have with their teachers. Teachers have power. How they wield it has nothing to do with the label attached to all those faces in front of them.

As far as for calling students “customers,” I can only say, “Yikes.” The idea that students are first customers weakens their position even further, I fear. The goal of education is educated students. The goal of business is profit. In our publicly funded Adult ESL system in Manitoba, we demand accountability for our funding in pedagogical terms. We insist on learner-centredness in our programs, we insist on qualified and effective instructors using current methods and materials. We insist on regular monitoring of learner progress and regular feedback to learners on their progress. We take all ESL learners who want to learn English to communicate in this community, and we don’t make decisions on the basis of their ability to pay. Nor do we “cream” and select only the best students. No doubt many private schools are commendable institutions. However, some are not. Private schools at their worst are elitist and exclusionary.


David Miller, <david.millergmx.net>
I tend to agree with Costas’ idea that the solution lies in some form of contract. As far as I know there are two instruments suited to this purpose: learner contracts and student charters. I like the idea of a contract as it reinforces the idea that teaching and learning involves two players. Ideally, power in the relationship should be shared and not too one-sided.


Costas Gabrielatos, <costasgabrielatos.com>
Dept. of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University, UK
http://www.gabrielatos.com>

I agree with much of what Joanne Pettis said in her post, but I still maintain that “the view of learners as clients radically re-adjusts the balance of power”.

Let me explain. Joanne Pettis argued that, “Calling students ‘clients’ will not change in any way the relationship they have with their teachers. Teachers have power. How they wield it has nothing to do with the label attached to all those faces in front of them.”

It goes without saying that merely changing “the label” won’t achieve much. However, I wasn’t talking about a superficial change in terminology, but about fundamental changes in attitudes, roles and practices. Joanne Pettis also stressed that “teachers have power”. Yes we do; too much of it, in most contexts. And that’s why I insist that this power should be redistributed and shared equally between teachers and learners. [-4-]


Thom Simmons, <thomas.simmonsnzic.ac.nz>
Director of Studies, Training and Technology Transfer;
NSW TAFE Diploma Programme Supervisor and Faculty Manager;
Meridian Institute of Business & Information Technology at New Zealand
International Campus, Somme Road, Heretaunga, Upper Hutt, Wellington,
New Zealand

Dave Kees refers to “David Miller [who] brings up an interesting concern of about [sic] the hazards of making the student the boss. We don’t want to allow the student to dictate the training in ways that are not beneficial.”

And posits, I believe accurately,

” . . . sometimes the academic system has been arrogant in its attitude to what students need and don’t need and consequently have ill equipped students to do their jobs. . . .”

I take David Miller’s point as well but referring to the same model, here is a different slant on this. I run a tertiary level, advanced diploma programme out of Australia (If you care to look it up, they are the New South Wales TAFE-Training and Further Education-diplomas in information technology and business management; http://www.tafe.nsw.edu.au) for non-native speakers. (Basically there is a lot of English for Specific Purposes work involved.) This sort of programme places a premium on industrial applications–as opposed to a heavy theoretical component. (The instructors have a minimum of five years hands-on experience in their speciality.) The students’ classrooms are set up to reflect industrial environments. The end goal is to place them in charge of their own business operation within a two year period–literally making them the boss. The catch is, they must maintain specific industrial standards–set by members of the industry themselves. We give the students the tools and the means and they make specific choices about how to get to a dictated goal–or surpass it–but falling short of the goal is not allowed.

The question is, “If you do let the students assume the role of ‘boss,’ does that necessarily mean allowing them to dictate training that is not beneficial?” The point is, in this situation, in New Zealand, there are options in this model. I doubt our situation is unique.


Beth P, <bethiep123YAHOO.COM>
Just went to a Faculty In-Service Day Friday; I teach ESL at a state technical college.

Our new President looked out at the 100+ faculty in the audience and stated that when he looked at us, he heard the sounds of “ka-ching! ka-ching!”

His vision seems to be to farm us college instructors out to employers to provide short-term training to employees, while substitute teachers/vocational instructors fill in for regular classes. He says we can bill community employers big bucks to provide this instruction in their workplaces.

He is trying to move from being a “state-supported” institute to a “state-assisted” institute. He sees the historical revenue sources (our state legislature) drying up.

He says our college must “compete”. He says if we don’t provide educational services as outlined above, somebody else (whether state-funded schools, private for-profits, or non-profits) will provide these services, and bill big bucks.

I’m still trying to process this new way of thinking & reconcile it w/my own views of “education as vocation” ……….. Hate to say it, but perhaps the above “ka-ching, ka-ching” is the new reality of education in this century.


Steve Taylore-Knowles, <stevetkACN.GR>
ELT author, Athens, Greece

I tend to agree with Joanne Pettis that a change in terminology does not necessarily represent much of a shift in perception, let alone a ‘radical’ one – which is not to deny that Costas Gabrielatos describes a real challenge for many teachers. However, since we are discussing the ways in which ‘sponsors’ and/or students play a role in accountability, we may need to draw clear distinctions between forms of ELT based on how they are funded. The person/institution directly paying for my services may be an individual student, a student’s parents, a private company, a private school, a publicly-funded organisation/school with control over its own budget, a government, etc. Each of these involves a different web of accountability, based on different criteria, and the role of the student in accountability differs. We may wish to use the term ‘client’ or ‘customer’ to describe some of those roles and not others. [-5-]

It’s probably not important. The significant thing is that the role of the student in accountablility is made explicit, or is explicitly excluded. That’s where explicit contracts and charters come in. Ideally, the teacher should have a clear idea of who they are accountable to and how and the students should have a clear idea of their role in the process.

Sheelagh Conway said: Perhaps the days of the devoted teacher like Robert Mitchum in that wonderful film Ryan’s Daughter, toiling alone in his little house by the Kerry sea and playing Bach on his gramophone are gone.

Yes, I rather suspect they are, particularly in ELT. With the explosion in ELT over the last three or four decades, there has been an enormous increase in the number and type of interested parties. If that forces us to go on the offensive in terms of justifying why and how we do what we do, then I’d say that’s no bad thing.


Craig Machado
ESL Director, Norwalk Community College

… [The customer-service orientation is] a big concern among faculty, that is for sure. Certainly at the community college level, we work very closely with businesses to garner donations for our foundations and to train people for jobs. I think this relationship has, among other things, led to increasing commercialization of the educational undertaking which is also reflected in the culture at large. I sense, even among international and immigrant students, a sense of entitlement that comes with paying higher and higher tuition. As public funding decreases, more of the cost of education is born by students – who struggle to pay it. Students are paying for “services and products”- teachers and classes – and they sometimes refer to them as such. It’s a trend that shows no sign of decreasing. We also feel it in the amount of time and energy devoted to buying technology, yet we are hard-pressed to provide enough functional desks for students or study areas that aren’t occupied by computers!


Barry Bakin, <barry.bakinLAUSD.NET>
ESL Teacher Adviser and ESL Teacher
Division of Adult and Career Education, Los Angeles Unified School District

Costas Gabrielatos [costas@GABRIELATOS.COM] said:

>Some thoughts on the ‘learner as client’ issue.

>Traditionally, the balance of power in teaching has been clearly in favour of the teachers. The constant talk about >teachers having to be sensitive and understanding underlines the fact that we can often choose not to.

I haven’t seen any mention yet about the type of “learner as client” situation we have in our state-funded adult immmigrant education system where the students come to school voluntarily but teachers’ jobs depend on maintaining a certain minimum level of attendance. Even in locations where demographics, high immigration settlement patterns, and urban settings guarantee a steady influx of new students to replace students who find jobs, get sick, change work schedules or move away, maintaining the minimum attendance levels (current minimum class size 25 students) requires both teachers and administrators to be constantly reevaluating course offerings, teaching strategies, student interests, the weather, natural disasters, current events (a municipal bus strike has caused attendance to drop in some classes as much as 50% over the last few weeks), curriculum and a whole host of other factors that impact on attendance. Teachers who lose sight of their students’ needs and interests lose their classes. A truism most new teachers in the district learn early is “Students vote with their feet”. While of course, there are always students who have expectations of a “rough taskmaster” type teacher, I think that a teacher who chooses not to be sensitive and understanding also runs the risk of choosing unemployment. [-6-]


Judith H. Snoke, <eslsnokevt.edu>
Director, English Language Institute of Virginia Tech
http://www.eli.vt.edu>

During this period of low enrollments I am putting most of my energy into finding new markets for our services. This is hard, made harder because the instructors I work with like the way their jobs used to be two years ago. For example, I’m trying to develop a class that would be taught at a center 35 miles from here and in the evening. None of my staff is interested in doing the teaching. I am afraid we are in a period of transition where the lovely IEP jobs are fading away. We will all have to look at where the money is and find out what people are willing to pay for if we are going to stay afloat.


Frank Noji, <francishawaii.edu>
Kapiolani Community College

My big fear is that this customer-service model is what is driving the “internationalization” of college campuses across the country. How can we get Taiwan to build us a building on campus? How can we get more international students? We are always discussing new programs and how and where and who to market to. It seems that unlike in the past where the needs of the community drove the creation of programs, today, lucrative markets drives the creation of programs. There is not enough classroom space on campus but the push to recruit more international students continues.

Another concern of mine is that this market driven thinking has resulted in the ignoring of the immigrant students and their needs on our campus.


Gena Bennett, <genabennettyahoo.com>

I’ve been teaching and developing curriculum in South Korea for the last 14 months. The “customer-service” model dominates Korean English education, especially in private academies. And it is not limited to college or adult students; children are also at the mercy of customer-service of parents. Programs, textbooks, everything revolves around what parents want to pay for; and often parents don’t know what they should be paying for. They want lots of pages in a book, that is covered very quickly, and lots of tangible evidence of immediate learning (an institute may be deemed extremely effective if a student can regurgitate the meaning of 100-200 words; regardless of the fact he can’t even intelligibly pronounce much less use in any form or fashion those words). I know true educators here in Korea who struggle to be able to effectively develop curriculum and design classes; if it doesn’t “fit” what the “customers” want, regardless of its true educational effectiveness, it doesn’t “sell.”


Sarah Eaton, <sarahelaineeatonHOTMAIL.COM>
, <SarahEatoneatonintl.com>
Mount Royal College, Calgary, Canada

I have been reading with interest the postings pertaining to questions of customer service.

I was interested by Joanne Pettis’ comment that the goal of education is educated students. The goal of business is profit. Sadly, as government funding decreases and the demand to recruit more students increases, I suspect we will see more of a hybrid model in schools.

In language schools there is more and more demand to follow a business model. As the model changes, so will the demands and requirements placed on staff and faculty; better to know about it up front in a job description than after you’re hired!

Having said that, when I read Sheelagh Conway’s comment that, ‘Our new President looked out at the 100+ faculty in the audience and stated that when he looked at us, he heard the sounds of “ka-ching! ka-ching!”‘ I just about fell off my chair. I earn part of my living marketing educational programs and even I was disgusted by this comment. It’s an example of a business-education hybrid that lacks leadership and a dedication to knowledge and bettering oneself and one’s community. [-7-]

The single biggest obstacle for schools as they endeavour to cope with having to find new ways to generate revenue is having the staff and (especially) the faculty buy in to new models of education that look even remotely like business. By addressing the faculty in this matter, he reduces them to chattel.

I moderate (on a volunteer basis) a Yahoo! newsgroup dedicated to helping language schools market their programs better. Part of what we do is educate ourselves and each other about what marketing is in an educational context. For more info, check out the website at:

http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/marketinglanguageprograms/

I do believe that we become teachers because we love the profession and we value the ways we can help our students and our community. Whatever other label we may apply to our students, they will always be ‘students’ first and foremost.


isa, <786isaOMANTEL.NET.OM>
MOHE College of Education at Rustaq, Oman

That all learners are important and contribute to a learning community is pretty basic and not very common.

I live in the Middle East, and taught at a fairly well known university for 4 years.

The Director of Curriculum at that university’s Language Center, who happened to be a high caste Brahmin from India, and never ate or drank in the presence of any of us non-Brahmins on any occasion, once rather vigorously chided me, saying something like: The trouble with you ivory tower New York liberals is that you think Arabs here in the Middle East WANT an education and you force it down their throats. It is a disservice and cruel. All they want is a qualification. Arabs have no interest in learning anything.

The real problem with “customer service attitude” is that idea of “selling” an education.

Education cannot be bought by any amount of money. It is something someone does for themselves. However that process does usually entail a lot of expense and people should know that they are going to spend it on something which will grant them a reasonable return on their investment. Only the very rich can afford a “liberal” education unless that liberal education will translate into an income producing activity.

Education, training and indoctrination are three different things and most “education” is the latter and rarely the middle.

Education is possible when the institution does not have a consumer service orientation but does have a learner empowerment orientation. The two are very different. The one is the banking model of teaching “I know and will sell you the knowledge.” The other is teaching as a profession and as a calling where learners are given the tools and the awareness necessary to learn effectively.

However, most institutions are concerned with indoctrination which neither empowers nor enriches but produces obedient “citizens” and “employees.” Margaret Thatcher and one minister of education in Turkey when I taught there and others have stated quite frankly that the purpose of the educational establishment in a state is NOT to produce individual who can think for themselves and learn, but to produce individuals who will be good citizens and good employees. The whole history of public education is one of indoctrination, or if education at all, is based on the banking model of education.

Modern learning, brain research based pedagogy and task based learning, etc., not only is far more efficient at training people for marketplace skills by putting the responsibility for learning in the hands of the learners, but it also empowers people to become full participants in public policy. The latter is now the most important thing we need as a species. Top down economics has produced an economic system which threatens to end our existence. Adam Smith himself was against unregulated markets, as causing dislocations of wealth which produce severe imbalances in economies and have a negative effect of economic development in the long run. There was a lot more of agreement between Adam Smith and Karl Marx than there is today between the globalization and anti-globalization political exponents in the world today. [-8-]


Jeanne Belisle Lombardo, <gkneecox.net>
Program Coordinator, Maricopa Community College District

The whole “education as business” phenomenon seems to be a very negative trend. One problem with it is clearly the “customer satisfaction” and “exceeding the customer’s expectations” issues. If one is talking about student services, then certain expectations will not be hard to meet per a business model – delivery of service, response time to inquiries etc. But when it comes to quality of education and expectations for student achievement, it is a dangerous thing. Having paid for a “product,” a student expects a certain return on it in the form of a passing grade. But when the quality of the work is substandard, this places great pressure on an instructor to revert to leniency in grading, even to the point of grade inflation. And what about goals? If the goal of the student is only to get that class over with and get a grade so he can go on and get a degree and improve his marketability, where does that leave an educational institution??? Should the role of education, even at a community college level, be to improve an individual’s marketability? Is college nothing more than pre-professional training? What about learning? Value systems? Critical thinking? Developing an educated, ethical citizenry? I understand there are market forces at work and competition for students’ dollars. Institutions need to survive. But this blurring of education and business lines bodes ill for the future, especially now when young people, more than ever, are seen as simply something to manipulate for economic ends. For me students are not simply consumers and a teacher is not a “provider of services.” Let’s not let market forces undermine the role of education in our society.

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[-9-]