University Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education (2005) by Jennifer Washburn examines how corporate funding has undermined the integrity and independence of academic research, particularly in the sciences. The best book on the topic yet.
Campus, Inc.: Corporate Power in the Ivory Tower by Geoffry D. White (ed.) is also excellent. This one is a collection of essay from students, academics and organizers.
Leasing the Ivory Tower by Lawrence Soley is another strong examination of the corporate colonization of colleges and universities.
The Closed Corporation: American Universities in Crisis (1967) by James Ridgeway is a pioneering expose of "how America's great universities are controlled by big business and the Department of Defense." A forgotten classic.
Entrepreneurialization, Resistance and the Crisis of the Universities (U TX) by Robert Ovetz (MMS Dissertation)
Science in the Private Interest by Sheldon Krimsky examines how the lure of profits has corrupted biomedical research. A somewhat related book is Martin Kenney's Biotechnology: The University-Industrial Complex (1986).
Steal This University: The Rise of the Corporate University and the Academic Labor Movement by Benjamin Johnson et al., describes how the university community has been fundamentally transformed by market forces and the corrupt influence of corporations -- including the warping of curricula and research, the imposition of for-profit structures on the acdemy and the growing use of poorly paid contintent faculty. the professoriate is no longer a "community of scholars" that governs itself, but a group of employees whose work is reviewed by administrators driven to guard the bottom line. The book also offers a rich examination of on-campus union organizing.
Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: the Marketing of Higher Education by David Kirp is an engaging account of the transformation of higher education. It is perhaps the best written book on the commercialization of higher education and its consequences.
Higher Ed, Inc.: The Rise of the For-Profit University explores the emergence of new, for-profit universities like Devry, Strayer, etc. -- the purely corporate model of higher education that has spread across the country, often joined at the hip to the industries that hire graduates.
Digital Diploma Mills by David Noble describes how higher education is becoming increasingly automated.
How Harvard Rules: Reason in the Service of empire by Jack Trumpbour (ed.) is a collection of essays that explores how the nation's elite university has come to stand for what conservative historian John Lukacs calls "sleek mediocrity" repackaged as brilliance.
Beyond the Corporate Univesity by Henry Giroux and Kostas Myrsiades (eds.) is a collection of essays.
Who Rules the Universities? An Essay in Class Analysis (1974) by David N. Smith starts with a court case in which a company successfully sued to overturn a law prohibiting corporate contributions to higher education and explores the two reasons for those contributions, as described by the company itself: the maintenance of a favorable ideological climate and the training of "manpower" for technical and management posts. Starting with an examination of the University of California Board of Regents, he traces the links between the top universities and the nation's most powerful companies.
Universities in the Business of Repression: The Academic-Military-Industrial-Complex in Central America (1989) by Jonathan Feldman documents the billions of dollars channelled through university investment and research to support transnational corporate interests and war. The author that the perception that universities operate as ivory towers above the fray is a myth. Much of the focus is on Pentagon research on campus, as well as the Agribusiness giants' involvement on campuses in Central America. An appendix lists companies and their specific activities, investments, etc.
The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Education Learning by Stanley Aronowitz is a provocative examination of the purpose of higher education and how it must be changed in order to achieve a well-rounded education, rather than one that is primarily directed at occupational preparation and training.
The Rise of Universities by charles Homer Haskins describes how universities emerged in the middle ages.
Universities and Empire by Christopher Simpson (ed.) describes how government and think tank funding influenced academic research during the Cold War.
Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 by Christopher Newfield.
Public Education, High Schools, Grade Schools
The Edison Schools: Corporate Schooling and the Assault on Public Education by Kenneth Saltman examines the nation's largest private schooling company.
None of Our Business: Why Business Models Don't Work in Schools by Crystal M. England (2003). A former middle school principal who argues why assembly-line educational models don't work.
Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? by Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian. In 1989, the Business Roundtable met to plan a state-by-state campaign to push standardized testing and reduce community participation in education. A stunning expose based on Emery's PhD thesis, which hints at how deep the corporate assault on community-based democracy has become. To learn more about standardized testing, see The National Center for Fair and Open Testing.
Reading for Profit: How the Bottom Line Leaves Kids Behind by Bess Altwerger.