Skip to main content

Blackwater in the School House

From Wikipoo "Formal education occurs in a structured environment whose explicit purpose is teaching students. Usually, formal education takes place in a school environment with classrooms of multiple students learning together with a trained, certified teacher of the subject. Most school systems are designed around a set of values or ideals that govern all educational choices in that system. Such choices include curriculum, organizational models, design of the physical learning spaces (e.g. classrooms), student-teacher interactions, methods of assessment, class size, educational activities, and more."

Yeah, a lot more. And the limits or liberty of those choices are a primary concern of the Federal Government because... because... I don't know, maybe it's written into the US Constitution or something. No? Well, I guess education has been run by the Feds for, like, 200 years and that's just the way we've always done it. No? The Federal Department of Education was established in 1980 and according to it's supporters does not interfere with state and local control of educational choices. Which makes you wonder why anyone even cares who the Secretary of Education is because the entire $73 Billion spent annually to allow 5,000 bureaucrats (that's fourteen million six hundred thousand dollars per paper pusher) does absolutely nothing to influence education in this country, right? All the hand wringing by the rubes over No Child Left Behind and Common Core is just a bunch of right-wing hysteria because those initiatives are merely suggestions that the States can make use of, if they choose to, as they exert "local control" of the "school system." So what does it matter weather Betsy DeVos or anyone else gets appointed to be Secretary of Education? Gov. Scott Walker gives us the answer:
That "champion for students & parents" line leaves out one critical constituency and when the school bell rings it is that constituency the entire education system is designed to satisfy - Teachers. Sure, DeVos is a Billionaire with "little understanding" of how the public education system works but if you think about it, who better to manage a $73 Billion budget than a Billionaire and understanding the failing US education system would probably constrain her thinking on how to improve it. The real reason is illuminated by WaPO in a great article titled "The popular uprising that threatens the Betsy DeVos nomination" where the paper singles out Anna Caudill from Tennessee as a representative of "the popular". Caudill has an adopted son, FuXia, from China with bone problems who can't speak English and she's so pissed at her public school district for the way they non-educated him that she's filed a law suite in federal court. Though sweet Anna was able to find the $20k-$40K required to adopt someone from China she doesn't have the $35K needed to send Fu to private school so she's raising money on a GoFundMe web site. Until she gets the cash she'll be "home schooling" this Chinese-American to the best of her ability and what lessons will our crippled, Mandarin speaking fellow citizen be learning:
“Vouchers don’t come with any oversight of the schools in which they’re spent,” Caudill said. “They put the parent in the position of trading a child’s civil rights for money.”
The mother of FuXia is trying to teach him to read at home because she is so dissatisfied with her public school and want's other people on the internet to pay for private schooling because if she were to receive a voucher from Betsy DeVos's Education Dept. that money would come without oversight and would endanger the boys civil rights. The civil rights in question are enumerated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which guarantee unlimited amounts of money and other resources be spent on educating Fu and anyone else like him. In the old days "many states had laws that explicitly excluded children with certain types of disabilities from attending public school, including children who were blind, deaf, and children labeled 'emotionally disturbed' or 'mentally retarded.'" Not any more, now our schools are full of emotionally disturbed disabled children and everyone must pay for it. Did I mention that Anna Caudill is a teacher? (The WaPo article doesn't, but she is)
"I homeschooled Fu eighteen months before admitting his issues exceeded my experience. Despite ten years teaching school and tutoring Language Arts, I was confounded. Fu wasn’t progressing beyond third grade reading. We were once again at the mercy of the public school to obtain appropriate education, having exhausted our finances for Fu’s physical therapy."
Confounded you say? Well, that makes two of us. This fact, a fact that the Washington Post purposefully obfuscates, in a story portraying the "popular uprising" of normal, everyday moms against an Education Secretary (of all things) gets to the root of our education problems in the USA. The problem is teachers.

I freely admit that I'm biased in that I hate teachers and have always hated teachers from grade one all the way through graduate school, so I make this claim with a full disclaimer. I have been a student, a parent and (on occasion) a teacher myself so I think I've got a pretty good set of experiences to call on and fully aware of my prejudice I make these claims with whatever level of objectivity I can muster.

  1. The best teachers (thank God) will be found in grades K-3 and we can all be thankful for the money well spent on these fine ladies (almost all are women) who care for children at this crucial point in their emotional and cognitive development.
  2. Middle-school grades 4-8 are a mixed bag populated by immature sex fiends, alcoholics, authoritarians and prudes who also happen to "teach."
  3. High School is where the child's future begins to set and as you'd expect the teachers at this level consider themselves builders of the wall.
  4. College should be a finishing school and university professors must love the idea of polishing the shiny pupils to a high shine and hate the reality of seeing numbskulls walk into their classrooms thanks to the failure of K-12 to deliver an educated student.
Know it alls who demand unlimited buckets of money for the "work" they do on behalf of society they assume a seat of moral authority that insulates them from criticism and accountability. Don't believe me, just go talk to one. Example: Joshua Starr
Trump’s pledge to expand funding for vouchers and charter schools and his nomination of DeVos have captured the attention of these public school backers, said Joshua Starr, PDK’s chief executive, who is a former Montgomery County schools superintendent. “They’re like, ‘Wait. How is this going to work? They’re going to take money from us.’ ”
Right, they're going to take THEIR money from you and spend it where THEY think it will do the most good for their child which, it seems to me, should be a civil right. Keeping the Department of Education filling the coffers of public schools who can't even meet the requirements of the idiotic laws imposed upon them and then get sued by one of their own teachers doesn't make sense to anyone but "teachers" and Jeff Bezos.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson

She was "sexy", but "too much hard work."

I'm a regular Fox & Friends viewer (mostly in protest of the other insipid morning programs like Today and Good Morning America) so over the years I've gotten to know Gretchen Carlson pretty well. Stuck between Steve and Brian she always seemed a prudish scold with an irritating, self-righteous demeanor that I simply put up with because I figured some people in the Fox audience actually liked her persona. It was obvious that Steve and Brian did not, but they were stuck with her like so many talking heads and had to make the best of it - which they did. Besides, she was no worse than any of the other women on morning show TV - I mean, you're only going to find a certain kind of person to do this kind of work and that kind of person is the Gretchen Carlson kind. Then, one day, she was gone and replaced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and the F&F ratings began to climb, and climb and climb - in two months viewershi…

The Democracy Quirk

Let it be said that Politico is one of the most worthless web sites with clout on the internet - it's like the Washington Post after a night of hard drinking in the Georgetown bars that passed out on a friends couch. Predictable and stupid at the same time - Also, the editors appear to despise democracy as a political science and as practiced here in the USA. Their latest "explanation" for the Trump phenomenon takes aim at the voters and their knowing ignorance which can be easily explained by the Dunning-Kruger Effect. The article written by shrink/educator David Dunning illuminates a big, glaring problem in any democracy, and that is, "we all run the risk of being too ill-informed to notice when our own favored candidates or national leaders make catastrophic misjudgments." Shit, now you tell us, for surely this is not a problem unique to 2016 and probably was in effect in 2000 and 1980 and 1968 and so on...
But as a psychologist who has studied human behavi…

Running Fence 2

You probably know that the Congress (specifically the Senate) and the POTUS are at loggerheads over Federal funding for the Big Beautiful Wall to be built along the US southern boarder. The reasons for this impasse are long and complex so a quick review of how we got here might be in order.

The Elvis from Queens glided down the escalator at Trump Tower (corner of 57th & 5th) and declared to America and the World that he intended to build A Great Wall across the southern boarder when he became POTUS because this alternate speech was never going to happen (KOTCB Alternate Universe 06/15/2015)A few weeks later candidate Trump was presented with a big fat brick of pain and suffering that served as the cornerstone of his campaign (KOTCB Dirty Sanchez)The physical Wall served as a curative slap in the face of the DC establishment who had, over the years, constructed an elaborate Folly Wall in place of the real thing (KOTCB Decius drops the mic)The idea of the Big Beautiful Wall began to…