Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Black Hole of Public Education

"Whenever I hear of a need for more money to fund public education, I envision a big black hole sucking away our tax dollars to further line the pockets of useless UniServe directors. These union employees are allegedly paid to bargain favorable teaching contracts for the overworked teachers whose subsequent contracts charge them with an impossible educational agenda based on faulty methodology and politically correct ideas.

For the most part, teachers begin their educational careers idealistic and excited about their role in the learning process. At first, money is of no concern in the mind of a person who serves in the caretaker profession. It isn't long, though, before the rookies begin to realize that direct instruction is frowned upon and that no significant amount of learning can take place given the often impossible circumstances with which teachers are faced. Low expectations, subsequent grade inflation, misbehavior all becomes the fault of the instructor; not the students or the administration -whose policy set the educational climate for the school. Only at this point do teachers start complaining that no amount of money is worth the aggravation that they are dealt while trying to do their job.

The public is catching on, though, with NCLB drawing attention to the failure of the schools to produce and the purse strings being attached to public accountability. So now the schools have to figure out alternative methods to keep the money coming in to pay for teaching methods which are cumbersome, unproven, and depend on an extremely small student teacher ratio to be effective.

In comes eminent domain. What a unique way to make money. First you grab a parcel of land with the excuse that it is for the public good (generally, building or improving a school falls under this category). You sit on the land for a few years and then sell it for much more than you paid. Even if you make a mere $12 million, you are not breaking any laws if you can prove that you didn't purchase the property with the intention of turning it around for a profit.

The San Diego Unified School District sure got a good deal when it took possession of a piece of property formerly owned by San Diego-based West RNLN, LLC, and later deemed, "unsuitable for a school and there is no other school district use for it." 1 This is using a favored status for a very shady and completely wrong purpose -to make money. Martha Stewart just went to jail for this type of dishonesty. It is essentially "gaming the market". They used their status under the law of eminent domain to work against other people by taking their property for no other reason than to make a profit.

I'm tired of hearing how the schools need more money. I'm tired of the public paying for their "habitual problem" with mismanagement and poor educational practice. Let's break up this monopoly"



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

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