Lies, Liars, and Education as Usual

The Market Lie: We need to infuse U.S. public schools with competition. We must free up the education market with charters, vouchers, and other innovations.

The Market Truth: Parochial schools, home schooling, and other innovations offered generations of competition to the neighborhood public schools. In fact, it is just those competitors that are most impacted by the corporate charter movements. For-profit companies have little interest in the expensive clientele of public schools: the special needs, learning impaired, foreign, and/or poor. Those kids are hard on The Bottom Line. The parochial schools are shutting down faster than Blockbuster Video, their buildings leased out to charter schools that offer tuition-free programs to otherwise private school families.

The effect: Solid urban neighborhoods held intact with a rich mix of public and parochial schools are abandoned, as most charters are located on the rim of these areas, poised to skim the most profitable student bodies.

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U.S Students Suck Lie: U.S. is losing ground to other countries. Remember Sputnik?  Well, the Chinese will own our children and our children’s children because Asians, obviously, make nutty mathematicians. It’s in their genes.

U.S. Students Suck Truth: Anyone of this opinion needs to fortify it with an extended stay in foreign countries – especially those countries that are apparently “beating” the U.S. educationally. There is no country on earth that does more for less with its schools that the United States of America. We educate everyone. I mean everyone. If you cross the threshold of our Public Schools, you get a desk in a classroom (Or mop closet. Note for future entry). It’s the law.  “Everyone” includes the poor, the disinterested, the uninvested, the poor. Everyone.

The effect: Repeated time after time, the U.S. Students Suck Lie starts to sound like truth to some folks. They demand changes based on the lie. Because it is easy and manipulatable, the change is usually some sort of test. Thing is, tests don’t teach. Redundant testing is expensive and unproductive.

Personal Anecdote: I lived and taught in Mexico for a semester. A Mexican man befriended me on the street one day. He regaled me with stories of the two years he and his family lived in Texas, and his hatred for the U.S., our president, our values, etc. I offered to buy him a coffee if I could ask him some questions. As he sipped his Folgers, I learned that he had first emigrated with his family to Canada. He and his family loved it there. Why did he move to the U.S.? Because his kids could go to school in the U.S., but not in Canada.
Full disclosure: He was deported for child abuse. His children remain in the U.S.

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Poverty Doesn’t Matter Lie: Poverty is just an excuse. Good schools should be able to educate everyone, no matter their zip code.

Poverty Doesn’t Matter Truth: Put down your tea, hold your “Socialist!” ejaculation for a moment, and hear me out. Poor students do not suck. Teachers of poor students do not suck. Poverty sucks. It puts a good percentage of Public School clientele behind the eight ball from the cradle.  Welfare cheats, lazy folk, schemers, and the like aside, the U.S. has poor people. Poverty is the grubby side of our freedom. Don’t argue about it. Deal with it.

The effect: Repeated time after time, the U.S. Poverty Doesn’t Matter Lie starts to sound like truth to some folks. They demand changes based on the lie. Because it is easy and manipulatable, the change is usually some sort of test. Thing is, tests don’t teach. Redundant testing is expensive and unproductive.

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U.S. Public Schools Are Failures Lie: Uncle Sid said it, they’re all saying it, so it must be true. They’re even making movies about it. If the documentary says our schools suck, then they suck.

U.S. Public Schools Are Failures Truth: U.S. Public Schools have a literacy rate that would rival that of any other country in the world, in spite of the many challenges that the competitors do not have. Remember, we are one of only a few public educational systems that is universally available and compulsory in the developed world.

The effect: Repeated time after time, the Most Public Schools Are Failures Lie starts to sound like truth to some folks. They demand changes based on the lie. Because it is easy and manipulatable, the change is usually some sort of test. Thing is, tests don’t teach. Redundant testing is expensive and unproductive.

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In Conclusion: There is money in them there schools. It is the lust for that money that fuels the lies above and many other half-truths, misconceptions, and assorted bull pucky.

Fellow patriots, don’t let them take our schools.

God bless America,

Prof. Pepino Suave
Public School Teacher
Public School Parent

2 thoughts on “Lies, Liars, and Education as Usual

  1. Well played. I wonder if folks will ever recognize the corrolation between the rise in student testing and the rise in the poverty level. Oh yeh, and if there is indeed money in them there schools, why aren't the teachers getting it? In my humble opinion, that's what really sucks.

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