Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sometimes they open their brain...

...  And its worse when its writing then when it is spoken.  So who is the offender now.  Did Bachmann say something, or Palin maybe?  It has to be John Boehner, Newt, or Bush "W", Could it be Dick Cheney?  When I say the title, thats what I was thinking, but no, they are all not guilty this time.  This time the person who opened his mouth, and committed to paper the asinine comment was Mr. Andrew Brenner from Ohio.  Yet another reason for me to never be caught dead driving through or flying over that state.

So, going to his blog here we will first see that he has some things mostly right.  I mean, the public education system that most of us used was in fact a Socialist concept.  We pay the government, which is ourselves, to ensure that students are educated to the standards the majority desire.  On top of that, even when you have no school aged children, or children at all, some of your taxes go to education.  Now when I was younger I had a real issue with it, but then, I came to understand one thing.  I do not want to be around uneducated people.  It is nice to be able to get into a discussion about science, or literature and have people be able to actually discuss it.

So, at this point I think we can all acknowledge there are issues with the educational system in the United States.  I mean there really is.  But unlike Mr. Brenner, I am not going to blame teacher unions, which are not "outgrowths" of a socialized school system.  They are the same as most unions, people way back when, getting pissed off at being pissed on, banding together to ensure they got their fair share.  If teacher unions are the problem why is it that teachers make an average of 41-46 thousand dollars a year.  Similar to that of police officers, social workers, and others.  Lawyers on average start at just above that rate and go as high as triple that pay scale (around 110k average a year).  Software programers start at the same level as lawyers, and average around 93k a year.  Your local neighborhood pharmacist, well he or she is going to be bringing home around double that of a teacher on average.  But teacher unions are the problem.  Oh but this rabbit hole goes deeper... Much deeper.
Unions managed to negotiate everything from standardizing their pay and benefits, to school sizes, school hours, the number of teacher workdays and even the time and place of breaks.
What the....  Unions set school sizes, and school hours?  Really?  I think school hours have pretty much been set for a while now, and are extended only when required.  I am also mostly sure that school sizes are based on the number of students in a district, along with the amount of funding said school has.  For instance, the high school I attended was actually a combined middle and high school.  There were not enough students for either a high school or a middle school.  There were also too many middle school and high school students in the district to warrant busing us elsewhere.  Solution have a combined school, until the student population was high enough to warrant building a new high school or a new middle school, which is what happened about five years after I graduated.  But the next thing is, if unions were in control of school size, that would indicate they were in charge of class size, and there is no way in hell I would want 30 plus students in any class I taught, how about you?

Now he wants to blame teachers for a system in trouble, and you know that blame is going on some of the wrong people.  Again, I will admit that some teachers don't need to be teaching, but if you want to finger the blame Mr. Brenner, others who see the system as the problem, point the fingers at yourselves.  Why?  Because for every bad teacher I have ever seen in my life, I have seen 10 bad students.  Ten kids who simply don't give a crap about learning anything.  School is nothing more than filler between football games and pep rallies.  It is a popularity contest, a place where one is not measured by how intelligent they are, but how pretty they think they are.

And here we have it, a privatized system.  A system where tax dollars move along with the student to where the school is.  So we can have schools segregated by class, rather than race, and these schools can be shut down because they have horrible test scores.  He talks about Pell Grants, hello teapublicans, that means more government spending.  Something you all dislike, unless of course it means the destruction of a system that needs improvement and tweeking, not destruction.  He then calls for parents and students to have the final say?  Really, students really don't know squat, thats why they have their backside plastered to seats in a classroom.  Parents, only want their kids to be educated in such a fashion they are.  IE, if they believe in creationism, and science is of the devil, hello Bobby Boucher. 

So what exactly is his answer to the problem?  Sell off all the public school buildings, real estate, and equipment to the private sector.  You know the same group of for profit groups that have destroyed the environment.  I am sure as he said those results will speak for themselves.  A bunch kids who already don't care about learning anything, paired with a company that gets paid if they don't learn, while going the cheapest route possible, equals a perfect storm of stupidity.  Of course, you can make the argument that happens today, and you will be correct.  Except, until recently, we really didn't go for that.  Cuts to education have been a relatively modern concept.  Go figure.