Monday, August 06, 2007

Children Fourth

Well, it's money first, of course. You need multi-billion dollar surpluses before you begin to deny a million-plus kids good teachers and reasonably-sized classes. And it's hard to stretch that cash when you're openly planning twice as many seats in sports stadiums than you are in public schools.

Next, of course, is PR. You're only as good as you look. Since the press takes a largely uncritical eye toward reform, you can pretty much change anything any way you wish and they'll hail it as genius. Forget about that good teacher-small class nonsense, which is expensive and not nearly as sexy as a reorganization. Or a second or third reorganization.

Third is to squeeze maximum time and effort from working people for as little compensation possible. That darn teachers' contract, despite all the givebacks, still says you have to pay veteran teachers a whole bunch of money (Never mind that it's still less than the surrounding suburbs). Plus, if those nasty teachers stick it out, you have to shell out for pensions. Why can't they eat dog food like the other seniors on social security (and jeez, when are we gonna get rid of that program)? How can you build sports stadiums and luxury boxes when you have to focus on such frivolities?

Now those charter schools are a great thing. No pensions, no veteran teachers, a lot of turnover, and more money for what's important. So let's keep closing schools and dumping charters in the spaces we create. Never mind good schools, like mine, operating at 250% capacity. If we keep shoveling kids into schools like that, we can close them too, and create even more charters. This way, we not only save money, but avoid any and all accountability for what goes on in the schools. They're privately run, so how the hell are we supposed to know what's going on?

After all that, if anything we do helps the kids, fine. We have no problem with that.

Thanks to Norm
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