Monday, August 08, 2011

Coming to a school district near you

Funny how the old 900 mile trip by car can drain even the most well intentioned of blogger's initiative. And then there is me, an essentially lazy blogger in the first place who needs little more than a ten mile drive across the county to dry up whatever motivation might occasionally seep into his beleagured veins.

But, things occur down here too.

So, I am well south of Michigan and soaking up the 95 degree heat in a city where the school children are just today entering back into the hallowed halls of cheating. This is great for the kids that happen to be young enough that a great majority of their schooling years have not been stolen from them by highly sought administrators and teachers; educators who discovered that accolades can be more easily achieved if they dispense with all that learning crap and just sort of erase littly Johnny's answers if he gets them wrong. For the unfortunate majority of Atlanta school children, however, this pretty much sucks.

How does the recent graduate ever get back the one shot at a public school education his youth will ever provide? What about this year's senior who has had his test scores altered since he was in the fourth grade?

Well over a hundred educators from the Atlanta school district have been implicated in perhaps the largest cheating scandal ever to embarrass public education. In the Atlanta school district it is apparently more important to appear as if you are being successful than it is to actually teach Johnny to read and write and do his math.

Which leaves little Johnny a bit behind the eight ball if he were ever in the situation where he might need to know something to get a job or, perhaps even worse, might have to serve the public with competence once he landed that job. Such trivialities cannot be allowed to stand in the way of an Atlanta educator in his or her never ending quest to be successful get more funding.

And this is ultimately the danger and disaster that is public education today--a system that has removed the responsibiity of educating children from the local level and instead placed it upon third parties who control the purse strings from on high. When Johnny flunks math, er, passes despite dubious results, his parents can be pleased to know that in the stead of the E he deserved, his teachers and adminsistrators can give him a solid B while his school system can qualify not only for additional grants, but also the right to snuff out Johnny's younger brother's education too.

A recent survey among educators found that the pressure to cheat on evaluations and tests was becoming more and more apparent. How difficult is that to figure out? With the free market expunged from the machinery that delivers a product, how tough to predict should it be that the product delivered would be less than the customer wanted while costing more than it should have, and consequently, how tough to discern that a little rail greasing needs to take place to keep the money flowing?

No one will recapture the lost decade of Little Johnny and tens of thousands of students like him. In the mean time, one hundred plus educators will lose their jobs and perhaps face criminal charges and well-deserved civil suits on top of it all. Absent an education, perhaps Johnny can soak up a few Gs from his now unemployed English teacher.

But this leaves greater society exactly where? I'll tell you where, with the same system in place that begs educators to cheat while it more forcibly, year after year, removes parents and localities farther away from their responsibilities to each other.

And it is all coming to a school district near you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's "for the children." It's for making them state dependents by way of state victimhood.

There were in 119 thousand school districts in 1937. Today there are 12 thousand.

In the beginning, school districts spanned whatever geographic area the local parents desired in order to advance their children's opportunity, and to attract productive persons - especially of child bearing age - to live in the area. School districts have become the maximum area from which teacher's unions can extract tribute.

The nationalization of this local concern illustrates the decline of Constitutional federalism. The nationalization of this local concern illuminates the consequences of D.C.'s command and control approach - it encourages school districts to lie and cheat in order that they may steal.

Sadly, the money they are stealing could have been kept for their own local use in the first place.