Gangland tactics of public education officials bleed us dry
The Syndicate hates competition, and they love spin, almost as much as they love money.
But Mafia types aren’t the only ones who hate competition so much they will go to extremes to eliminate it. OK, maybe that was a bit strong. The group I’m speaking of hasn’t killed anybody yet, at least not anybody I know of, but they have resorted to all kinds of clever legal gymnastics to take out the competition. They are both masters of spin and lovers of money I’m referring to a diverse breed of ivory tower public education bureaucrats. They have the sensitivity of John Dewey; the romanticism of William Heard Kilpatrick; and as we’ll soon see, the pragmatism of Al Capone.
(Jan. 5, 2006) The Tallahassee, Fla., Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in favor of abolishing its state-wide school voucher program. The program in question allowed students who had earned a failing grade two out of four years to attend private schools using tax funded vouchers. The court’s rationale for axing the program? It ‘undermines public schools and violates the state’s constitutional requirement of a uniform system of free public education.’
The manifest absurdity of the court’s reasoning here is evident; because the basis for instituting the voucher system was the failure of Florida’s public school system to get the job done, which begs the question: If the system isn’t working, then why are the public education authorities worried about it being undermined?
Moreover, framing the argument as ‘free public education’ vs. taxpayer funded private education is arguing semantics. F.Y.I. ‘your honors’: public education ain’t free. My tax dollars are paying for it. And I’d much rather pay for a system of education that works than one that is terminally ill.
But who was behind this ideological move in the guise of law and order? Only the people who stood to lose the most: the State Teacher’s Union, the Florida PTA, the NAACP and the League of Women Voters ‘ all organizations who have vested interests in perpetuating our failed experiment in public education in true mobster fashion, which means minimizing the competition. In the process they are hurting the very people they claim to care about: children.
Chief Justice Barbara Pariente was quoted as saying the voucher program ‘diverts public dollars into separate private systems parallel to and in competition with the free public schools.’ Thanks a lot, Justice Pariente. You act as if competition were a bad thing. Shouldn’t the establishment be more concerned with the quality of education than with competition? And if competition is allowed, history has shown it to be beneficial to both the product and the process. Unfortunately, the public educational authorities don’t share my enthusiasm for competition, and why should they? Tax dollars follow students, and if other institutions of learning are doing the job in the wake of failed public education, of the competition, which amounts to outlawing any legislation that encourages it on a level playing field.
Once again, we have a triumph for judicial activism and the ‘American way’ over common sense. These organizations are more worried about the loss of jobs, revenue and perks, which go with the white elephant we call public education, than they are about those who have fallen through the gaping holes in the system. And what of the ones who somehow manage to survive the indoctrination of our entrenched authoritarian illuminati? Well, I’m almost sure some of them end up sitting on a Supreme Court bench legislating nonsense.
Who can argue with the results of our mediocre, and dare I say it, immoral public education system? If the culture were Prince William Sound, then public education would be the Exxon Valdez, and there are no retroactive counter-measures to clean up the mess. The most we can do is try to contain the spill, scrap the boat and start over. In the meantime, it’s tax dollars (yours and mine) which perpetuate the myth of so called ‘free’ public education, and we’re doing it at the additional expense of our children.
Finally, I fully realize that there are pockets of resistance within the system-intrepid individuals (and in some cases entire school systems) raging against the machine, but they are the exception. Most of the educators I know trying to affect change from the inside out are hopelessly down trodden. They are mired in standards so ambiguous that Einstein would have trouble comprehending them, and under intense pressure from the Captain Ahab’s of public education not to make waves.
They are the unsung heroes of this story. It takes guts to go up against a force which has the power to make your life a living hell if you don’t toe the party line. Such is the pitiful legacy of public-education children who have been taught what to think instead of how to think and gifted educators who are minimized by the establishment’s lack of vision. Meanwhile, the kangaroo courts of our country continue to aid and abet the bureaucracy in bleeding our culture dry of both intellectual and economic capital. Al Capone would’ve loved it.
Editor’s note: Chad Phillips resides in Corydon.