“The current situation allows the government and big business to manufacture and maintain our culture for us, and in turn, control remains in the hands of the experts and institutions.” -- Helen Hegener, Alternatives in Education
The $600B per year public school monopoly is a hierarchy--a top-down pyramid of control, similar to that of a large church. For its power, it depends on psychological conditioning -- the willingness of those at the lower levels to believe in and obey the tenets and commands of the higher-ups.
Students, of course, are the “congregation.” They are the supplicants, the sheep, at the bottom of the pyramid. Their role is to keep quiet and do what they are told without question. They are trained from the beginning that they are to follow, and not to think for themselves.
Teachers are the choir, singing their assigned hymns and anthems, repeating their mantras carefully taught to them in teacher colleges and "professional development" -- really edu-seminaries and indoctrination camps.
Up the line are principals, managing schools just as parish priests preside over local churches, setting a personal tone, but never varying the lesson plans or orthodoxy. They are the middle-men in the chain of command, doing the bidding of the superintendents. The pyramid, at every level, serves itself first.
Superintendents run districts, with the number of schools depending on the district size. Even though they get pay from local taxpayers, they get their orders from the state Dept of Ed. which sets the policies, attitudes and programs conducted within all districts. Superintendents act as bishops, making sure that the local clergy toe the line handed down from the state.
Local school boards are irrelevant—mere window dressing for the superintendent, making it seem as though the community agrees with the state's policies. Legally, the boards are "agents of the state," and do the bidding of the state bureaucrats and politicians.
Higher still are career education bureaucrats in the federal Dept of Ed. This is the college of cardinals of national schooling where policies become rules and regulations for the rest.
Near the top of the pyramid come the state commissioners of education. They meet under the group name Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and their website tells us that they "organize national influence on education issues." Indeed, they decide the big picture -- the national policies, the "direction" for the national school system. Their discussions and decisions are private, and are handed down as "the word" from on high. Their effect is the dumbing of America.
This pyramid also includes teachers unions, the large special interest which constantly pours sand into the machinery, making everyone’s work more difficult and expensive. Then come teacher colleges, where Thomas Sowell says, “The least respected professors teach the least respected courses in the universities.” How good can the graduates be when the courses attract only the lowest ranks of students?
There are the monasteries and nunneries, too, called “resource centers.” Here, hundreds of teachers who wash out of the schools find employment designing the stealth materials used in the schools. These are the factories of Transformational Education and Values Clarification, where the so-called "facilitators" come from to help superintendents shape local opinion about the schools.
This pyramid of public school is headed, not by a Pope, but a Secretary of Education. The entire structure is designed to teach one thing: Obedience to Authority.
In such a tightly controlled hierarchy, there is no local control. No one is permitted to complain; everyone is scripted; and no one thinks at all. That’s the plan, and it’s working. There’s just one problem: no one gets educated.