As a Cash Cow to be Milked for All It is Worth:
There are so many ways to siphon money from our public school system that I can only list the most common here. The most lucrative method of milking money is with new school construction as there is money to be siphoned from beginning to end. Upfront, the land the school is built on must be purchased. This allows the rich people who are behind your school board members to buy a worthless property then sell to the school system at a considerable markup; sometimes as much as 50%! All too often these properties are later found to be toxic waste cleanup sites.
Next, expensive architectural plans must be prepared (you would think that there would be standard school plans but every school is custom!), a general contractor (almost always a crony) is hired who will then hire many subcontractors (also cronies). Huge amounts of building materials must be purchased and after construction the school must be furnished (lavishly and expensively.) Every step of the way is an opportunity for sweetheart deals, double invoicing, inflated prices, and unspecified “consultants.” If the funds are available there will be “cost overruns.” But it doesn’t end here, down the road, sometimes within two years, there are building refurbishments and updating.
In addition to this there are many other ways for the rich to steal from our schools including overpriced textbook purchases, sweetheart deals for supplies, reciprocal nepotistic hiring (you hire my son and I’ll hire your daughter), bogus “teacher training” contracts, overly expensive or non-existent afterschool programs, computers and other technology purchased in bulk at full price (with some equipment landing in the homes of administrators), nebulous “consulting” fees, purchasing supplies and equipment with school funds which are returned for private credit, and lucrative school lunch program contracts. And it doesn’t end there: the proliferation of high stakes testing have led to an entire industry that provides “SAT Prep Services”, endless workbooks, and the costs of taking the damn tests themselves. Is it any wonder why the rich view our public education system as their cow to milk as they see fit,
As a Method to Make the Children of the 99% Far Less Competitive:
Our Public Education System spews out “graduates” who, let’s face it, on average are not really prepared for college, yet we send the majority of them to college anyway. How does the system insure large numbers of unprepared high school grads, This is actually quite simple; our children are denied the fundamental knowledge and tools required to do well in college. In the guise of making the curriculum more “challenging”, “applicable”, and “diverse” two methods are used to deny students fundamental knowledge. First, our school system quickly gives up trying to teach your child to read well, to add and subtract, to write coherently, to touch type, to use Microsoft office, to master meaningful geography, to learn important world and U.S. history, and to apply the scientific method. They instead provide your child with lessons that will “engage” them. If you replace engage with “entertain” you will understand what they are really doing.
Their other method to deny your child a good education is to pile on as much extraneous curriculum as possible: ethnic diversity units, emotionally manipulative lessons, very trivial math and science applications, “baby think it over” programs, politically correct topics, “don’t do drugs” programs, lots of “test prep”, as many national-international-cultural celebrations as possible, special “anything-but-academic” fun projects, etc. Add to this the nonsensically long “block” periods, 40 to 50 student per classroom, disruption by constant announcements, and students being pulled out to see administrators; the result is very little actual learning of fundamentals, key knowledge, and college skills.
Why do this, Simple, the Rich have kids too and they don’t want your children competing with theirs.
As a Device to Condition Our Behavior:
Have you ever wondered about the bell systems in schools, And why are there no bells announcing the beginning and end of classes in college, The answer is that this is a holdover from the days when most people worked in factories (where bells and whistles were used to queue the workers for starting, ending, and break times.) Bells were put into the schools to condition children to factory timing.
Today, there is a more subtle conditioning going on. One that is still designed, oddly enough, to put and keep your children in their place: Obedience to Authority. From your child’s first day of school our Public Education System is molding them to blindly accept authority, not to question what is told to them, and not to think for themselves. It takes a very concerted effort to accomplish this but consider that the Public Schools have your child for thirteen years! How is this accomplished, Well, first as mentioned above they purposely fail at teaching fundamentals (especially fundamental reasoning.) Next, they design a capricious and arbitrary “standards based” (I like to correctly call it “low standards based”) curriculum that revolves around trivial unconnected and compartmentalized knowledge that, for the most part, your child will never need and is fully expected to memorize, regurgitate, then forget. A feedback system (grades) is rigorously applied to reinforce “good academic behavior” and punish bad “performance.” Add to this a mountain of homework designed to use up any free time your child has for personal explorations. The children who, quite reasonably, rebel against this system are labeled as: special ed, ADD, ADHD, trouble makers, “not college bound”, etc. Those students who do learn to think for themselves in spite of this are labeled pejoratively as “geeks.”
Finally, we do one more thing to drive the nail into the coffin of thinking for themselves: we readily provide them with the answers to all their queries whether we should or not. I understand this seems contradictory and I will try to explain. Our schools do not force our children to figure out things for themselves. When our children after a few seconds of struggling demand to know “the answer” from their teacher, their teacher always gives it to them (they are required to by school policy.) After seven or so years of this our children are conditioned to believe they are incapable of figuring out an answer for themselves and will accept as truth both what they read and what authority figures tell them.
Why do this, Very simple, the Rich don’t want you or your children questioning the political system, the economic system, the school system, the governmental system, foreign wars, high levels of personal and public debt, the nightly news, business bailouts, pork barrel spending, the buying of our government, etc. The most efficient way to accomplish this is by short circuiting the ability to figure things out for ourselves and get us to accept the idea that authority figures (often with questionable Ph.D.s and master’s degrees) are the people with the answers and we only need ask them.
As a Place Where They Would Never Send Their Own Children:
Let us be honest. The Rich do not send their children to Public School; would you if you had a viable choice. Please realize that Charter Schools are “chartered” by the Public School System and therefore teach the standard (aka “low standards”) curriculum. Many are better than regular public schools and too damn many are scams by rich people to steal money while providing a very crappy education for your child. But NONE of them are where The Rich send their children to school!
The advantage the Rich’s children receive from this system is incredible. They are virtually assured acceptance into the most prestigious Universities which they have been carefully prepared to do well in. Further, competition has been lowered by filling the slots they don’t require with ill-prepared public school students and, even better, many students attending on “athletic” scholarships. Further, Rich people’s children have employment lined up for them before they graduate-virtually no unemployment for them. They also do not have huge student loans hanging over their heads for the first 10 years or more of their post college lives. And how about grad school; do you really think they don’t have a huge advantage there too,
So what is the solution, because, let’s face it, this system is running our country into the ground and putting our children’s futures at extreme risk. Many things could be done but I suggest to you that Public Education will ALWAYS be second rate compared to what the Rich provide for their children. For that reason I suggest that we require that the Rich send their children to regular public school (not charter schools.) How long do you think our public schools will remain crappy if we do this,
As a Cash Cow to be Milked for All It is Worth: