I recently had a conversation with one of my daughters who is a non-union, public charter school teacher. I asked her what she thought about the new Common Core “State” (Read “Federal”) Standards. Not surprisingly, she was all in favor. This lead to a conversation about education reform in general.
She admitted that the most critical factor in improving educational achievement is parental involvement. In many ways she experiences lack of funding in the classroom in more ways than the lower pay that she receives as a non-union employee. She agreed that too much of the existing funding goes to top heavy administration and a bloated bureaucracy. She claims that excessive bureaucratic regulation cuts in to valuable instruction time. As a non-union teacher, she is willing to recognize that the union is a negative influence upon education. She hates standardized testing. She claims that the tests do not measure learning and that to evaluate students and teachers simply based upon these tests is unrealistic.
In conclusion, I think that she likes the idea of common educational standards, but she dislikes all of the baggage that comes with such an approach. She doesn’t know it yet, but what she really doesn’t like is government controlled education. She loves children and loves to teach, but she is getting “burned out” after little more than a decade of teaching. This is not unusual for many teachers. Last month there was a story in the Washington Post about a kindergarten teacher named Susan Sluyter. She is a 25 year veteran who just quit because she says her job is now about tests and data, not children.
I have advocated on these pages for privatizing education. This is probably a shock to my daughter and many other teachers. I want it to be abundantly clear that I do not hate teachers and children. I am in favor of education, and I value teachers as critical contributors to society. It is my concern for our country and my grandchildren that motivates me to advocate for radical reform. Radical reform is necessary. Our public education system is a miserable failure.
This is not the fault of teachers, in general. Under the circumstances, they are being asked to do the impossible. As I proclaim on my Facebook group, Brick in the Wall, dedicated to the destruction of the government education monopoly, public education is run by a criminal cabal of big government, big labor and big business. They want to manipulate you and your children for power and money. Government administrators and politicians, along with union executives and education business executives are manipulating the system to empower and enrich themselves.
Government bureaucrats are empowered by increasing the size and power of government. Greater control and regulation are both a means and a result. Unions want teachers to think that they are there to advocate for them and for the children. This is a sham. They do protect bad teachers because they must maintain the rolls. But, in general they work to support the bureaucrats and politicians who do the same for them.
Union leaders advocate for liberal curriculum to preserve power for liberal politicians. The Chicago union president wants “social justice” taught in math! We should know that “social justice” is liberal speak for income redistribution.
Unions take dues from teachers and use them to support big government socialist politicians. They are among the largest political donors, outspending even those evil Koch brothers. Corporate cronies such as Bill Gates and Pearson who are involved in education curry favor with the bureaucrats, politicians and unions in order to sell books and standardize tests. They write the books and the tests to suit the socialist politicians and union bosses.
Of course, those have to be slanted towards big government socialism in order for the bosses to maintain power. I contend that they are even dastardly enough to deliberately dumb down the curriculum in order to preserve a permanent voting block of low information voters more interested in what government can provide for them and what the Kardashians are doing than what is happening to their society. If the children actually were educated about what is really happening, that would be the end for the power structure. What else can explain the appalling emphasis upon sexual debauchery in the public school curriculum?
As I make the case for privatization, the reaction from most people is that it would be impossible. This is probably true if reform were attempted through the normal legislative process. They tend to think of it in the same realm as Social Security.
So, I was brain storming a strategy. I believe that the system would collapse of its own weight by a general public education strike. Even if only 25% participated, the politicians would be forced to listen. The system of federal control and funding is based upon attendance. How could we get 25% of the parents to take their children out of public schools? I’m just a retired guy with a pen and I’m not rich. The movement needs well positioned leaders who have an audience. We must first undertake a massive public information campaign.
In my next column, I will offer some specific ideas to advance the cause. It is vitally important that the task of privatizing education be undertaken with haste. The survival of our society and freedom depends upon it. When we depend upon the government to provide all things for us, we trade our freedom for tyranny. As government provides everything, it must control everything.
As my daughter correctly pointed out, the most important factor in educational achievement is parental involvement. Today, most parents are not involved because they expect the government to provide the education. When parents do get involved, too often they are silenced by the “professionals” who want their unquestioned allegiance, but are not interested in their input. Government education supports the tyranny of big government.
History has proven over and over again, that as tyranny increases, people will rebel. As governments get more powerful, rebellion gets crushed. We must stop it before it gets too big or the end will be violent.
Image: Courtesy of: http://teams-tutoringinschools.wikispaces.com/How+Students+ Experience+School