Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Those of us who are interested in education know there are people out there who want to destroy public education. I categorize them into two camps, (1) those who want to commercialize education, and (2) those who hate centralized government. The hate for federalization has been with us since the1776, those who wanted each state wanted to be a little country; it was the major issue in the constitutional convention in the State House in Philadelphia that lasted for four months. Fifty-five men labored over the question and eventually framed the “Constitution for the Republic”. We have been enjoying the fruits of their work for a long, long time. There has been issue after issue where groups of individuals have challenged that outcome for myriad reasons, some big some small ranging from slavery to grazing rights. Until recently, we have stuck to the principle that our strength as a nation relies on the idea of one-man [person] one vote; in a great judicial overreach, the Supreme Court has changed that. Money is now power.

The individual vote still counts collectively. If everyone voted to overturn the Supremes Court decision, we would be free of that curse on democracy. However, it would take an amendment to the Constitution and that is not very likely because our democracy is bases on one-man one vote and dollars are votes—Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy used the First Amendment to destroy the entire document.  What all of this has to do with education is that “big” money is being used to destroy segment after segment of the government and there is no better example of that then public education: the Department of Education. Rich donors are feeding millions of dollars into politics to “buy” candidates who support what big money wants and they want to make money off selling textbook, privative schools, testing of our children, abandoned buildings and then buying them dirt cheap and a long, long list of etcetera.

The objective of this posts it to express my concern about how they are using the misery of people to promote their greed. The money grabbers are quick to use everything they possibly can to further their cause. By cutting taxes the underfund public schools. Building maintainers are first to go (janitors, building repair; teachers can do it), then teachers are asked to work longer hours (they already work 60 hrs a week), class sizes are increased, student have to supply their own paper and pencils, and in some cases, that is toilet paper. The politicians they elect destroy teachers’ unions as we have seen Republican governor after Republican governor do: Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, etc. They under pay teachers to the point where even teachers most devoted to education resign simply because they have to eat. Once that have made public schools miserable they introduce charter and private schools: nice buildings, and other amenities for a price.

What the voter appeal for all of this was, it shifted the tax burdened off the backs of people and business, those who did not have children, and put it on the backs of the parents. Of course, the poor families have no choice but to send their children to public schools. That is what the voucher program is all about; it puts tax money in the hands of politicians to give to private schools at the expense of public schools. Various religious organizations support the right of churches to run schools to indoctrinate children into their religion every Sunday to their captive audiences. There were many reasons to want private schools. The lack of qualified teachers for special education, huge class sizes, crowed public school districts, and leaky roofs for examples. The fracas over bussing was an example—especially in the South.
Now they have a new focus of attack, which is Common Core. The cry is get the federal government off my back! Just as the ranchers that support Clevin Bundy, they want local control! If students can add and subtract by the time they are seniors that is all they need, or it is OK to believe dinosaurs did not exist, or that the Civil war was a war of aggression, climate change does not matter, etc as long as it cuts taxes. This greedy element is trying to find teachers that do not want to give tests for fear of administrators using the tests to evaluate their teaching and not the evaluate what the students learned so they know what to teach. Teaching is a sweaty palm profession and all “good” teachers question if they are doing a good job with the idea of doing better next year—that is the nature of being a good teacher. These business types cash in on disgruntled teachers who resigned because of salaries by blaming Common Core; better yet blame the “Federal government overreach”. Citizens United is reaching into the classrooms—to hell with the children if some business can make a few bucks.

Don’t you get caught in the Common Core trap. You and all other teachers who have resigned, try not to fall into their trap. I can forgive you for resigning because I know you have to earn enough money to eat but educations is still important. Common Core is a big step in the right direction, don’t throw it away. As a postscript; Google “public educations as a communist plot”. It will give you an idea of how far they will go to label public education as the untimate evil.  
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