Monday, July 23, 2012

Why is our government saying education is so important, but doing things that make no sense for education? (by Peter Brown)

Plain old street crime is pretty straightforward; the guy with the gun says "gimme your money now!"  

It's not so clear with high-finance corporate crime, when corporations have taken over the government -- they get politicians, or nice foundation people, to smile and say "We want to help the children! Public education isn't working! Americans need better education to compete with foreign labor! Unions are the problem! Close schools that aren't working, & fire the lazy union teachers!"  They hire PR firms to put out slick advertising and "documentaries", showing how their plans will help your child get an education and get a good job.  Remember how Proposition 13 got sold to us back in the late '70's?  "It will help the elderly keep their homes!"  That's when school budgets started getting the shaft.

The problem is that their charter schools, and their private, for-profit universities like Phoenix and Kaplan, don't educate better, or even as well as public schools.  What they do very well is make money & put students into debt slavery, along with the companies that make up the high-stakes tests.

It’s true that education in our country, including public education, has serious problems beyond lack of funds, and vast numbers of public school educators are deeply involved in transforming how education is practiced in America.  However, the actions of “reformers” such as the Gates Foundation and the Broad Institute speak louder than their words: if they truly wanted education to improve, they would not still be funding and promoting proven failures such as corporate charter schools and for-profit colleges like the University of Phoenix. 

The truth is, they don't intend to educate your child.  Corporations originally pushed for public education so they'd have lots of workers who could read, write, & do math to work in their factories back when they needed millions of workers to run machinery and create goods & services.  Now the factories, the phone switchboards, and even the science labs are run largely by robotic automation.  Corporations don't need very many of us to run the factories, to make things or move information, so they don't need lots of education and they don't intend to pay for it.  They won't educate workers who they will never hire, but they will pay to keep them under control.

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