Thursday, January 17, 2008

Public School: Employment Empire

"The school system is a place whose primary purpose is to provide employment for teachers and administrators, with students being a means to that end." -- Thomas Sowell; INSIDE AMERICAN EDUCATION

Today's school year is the same length as it was fifty years ago, and the school day is also unchanged. One thing is much different today: twice as many people work in those schools. And yet, with twice as many people to perform virtually the same work as fifty years ago, the educational results are below those of former years. What can we conclude? Government school has become an employment empire at taxpayer expense without regard to teacher qualifications or school quality.

Is more teaching happening? No. Is more learning going on? No, in fact, today there is far less learning than previously. Why? Because content -- the foundation of basic skills and knowledge that once were taught -- has been drastically reduced, lowering the quality of the education that is offered. We cannot expect students to learn if they are not being taught.

Therefore, today's public schools are less effective despite the fact that twice the number of people are employed in them. The teachers are less educated; the subjects are watered down, the teachers are "certified" which really does not mean qualified. Another change is that the government's concerns are social engineering instead of academic learning; that results in the subjects being watered down. therefore, the intent of today's schools is therapy instead of education; feelings instead of knowledge; attempting to "manage" the social fabric instead of educating the masses.

Why are there so many employees in the schools nowadays? Good question, right? I don't believe it has anything to do with education, because, by all indications, the more employees they have, the worse they do what they are expected to do. To me, it looks like the schools are a convenient dumping ground for many not-all-that-well-educated folks who have lost other jobs. By making room for them in government-run schools, Big Brother acts as a sponge in the market place, soaking up employees who once were in private enterprises, and placing them on public payrolls at taxpayers' expense.

The books are poorly written, the teachers are not well educated in the subjects they teach. They go to teachers' colleges to learn "education" instead of real subjects that they might pass on to their students.

It's simple, all Uncle Sam needs to do is announce a new program, such as No Child Left Behind, and bingo, a million people join the government school payrolls across the country. What politician doesn't like "Education" for an issue? And few would ever oppose throwing more money at schools no matter how bad they get or how much they cost?

Does quality schooling really depend on spending more money? Not at all. The quality of a school is entirely dependent on the quality of the programs and the quality of the teachers who offer those programs. Money alone has not been shown to change anything except the budget. Paying teachers more to offer the same programs gets those same programs at a higher cost. The proposed state increase for schools (if it passes) will go entirely into the pockets of existing and additional teachers -- already the highest paid in America -- but will improve nothing.

What we see is that the school system is part of a scheme by which the federal and state governments are using the schools to absorb a portion of the workforce in order to centrally manage the populace and labor statistics for political purposes. In this way, government grows while private companies downsize and modernize. In this way, they keep the unemployment rate at levels "acceptable" to the electorate, but with one kicker: school employment is at taxpayers' expense. Thus, we get the bill when the government wants to hire more people. The feds even send down elaborate programs, such as No Child Left Behind, all with billions in incentives for districts to hire more people with other people's money -- ours. Does it ever improve education? No. That continues to get worse and more expensive.

The winners are the teachers unions (moe members; more dues; more power), the administrators (larger payrolls; higher pay; more control); school bureaucracies (more employees to keep track of more programs and more money) Who are the losers? The taxpayers, the parents, and the kids because the bigger the employment kingdom, the lower the quality of the teaching corps and the less anyone cares about the children.

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