Home School, Charter Schools & Public Schools
Trends In Public Education
by Jeff Prager
I remember my early developmental years in elementary school, junior high and high school quite well. History was always a fascinating subject for my young and wide open mind although finding out that the stories I was told were mostly untrue at almost 50 years of age was of course disheartening. Columbus being a slave trading rapist was crushing. No more turkey dinners for this explorer. And the cherry tree thing? It's simply outrageous! No friggin' cherry tree. Outrageous I'm tellin' ya'!
Class Warfare is a major element of the United States' sociopolitical system in the 21st century and it's apparent everywhere we look. Never in history has Class Warfare been so blatant; today it's palpable–so intense that we can even feel it in the air. Anyone looking can see it.
After the events of 911, the current conditions surrounding GM foods and water fluoridation, the militarization of our police forces, bail outs and foreclosures, LIBOR and corporate and banking frauds, global drug sales, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Congo and now Mali and other countries of course, (this is the very short list) it's become quite obvious to those of us paying attention that those in power; those with the most wealth, control and influence, can pretty much do what the heck they choose and we, the people, have absolutely no say in what takes place no matter how horribly bankrupt or morally wrong it might be (you should be thinking of the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, war, millions dead, torture, bank fraud, etc.).
The system provides the illusion of participation where there really is none. It's impossible for hardened Democrats and Republicans to see this slightly abstract illusion so the system simply perpetuates itself (this presents a serious dilemma that probably won't be overcome for decades, if ever). It marches forward slogging double-back flips like Roger Miller singin' and strummin "Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug" (see: Roger Miller - Chug - a - lug (HQ)
). Thus, we have the 'Great Experiment', the American educational system in all its blazing downhill spiral glory.
And nowhere is Class Warfare more obvious than in the US public school system (that said, it might actually be obvious just about everywhere we look, more so to some than others I would imagine).
As of September 2012 the New Orleans Public School system was the only school system in the US with a majority of students educated in Charter Schools but this seems to me to be the direction the public school system is headed in.
Chicago schools can accommodate 511,000 students but only 403,000 actually attend school. Right now nearly 140 Chicago schools are more than half empty. Sections of the city have had the street lights turned off for lack of residents which has made swaths of Chicago an urban no-mans land. Homes are boarded and vacant. Many have been bulldozed by the city–flattened, demolished, orn down, raped–many have been torched by vagrants, addicts, gangs and criminals. Chicago is crumbling. So are many cities (see: "After 911" by Jeff Prager, pages 38-55, The Povertization Of America, 2010: http://www.datafilehost.com/download-ab3fa150.html
Urban school districts around the country have been grappling with the issue of declining enrollment, according to a 2011 study on school closings by the Pew Charitable Trust. Over the past decade 70 large or mid-sized cities have closed schools averaging 11 schools per district according to the National Education Association, a labor union for school teachers.
Seventy districts at an average of eleven schools per district is 770 school buildings that were or are sitting vacant, unused, collecting dust. The entire US homeless population could be housed, protected from the bitter freezing winter cold and the blistering summer heat in just one or two of those buildings in each city but we all know they won't be happening. Helping the homeless wasn't listed on the US Stock Exchange last time I looked. Yet our educational system seems to produce homeless people nevertheless.
Chicago announced today (as in today, Friday, March 22nd, 2013) that they'll be closing 54 schools affecting 30,000 students.
I do want to say that Chicago has 472 elementary schools, 106 high schools, 96 charter schools and 7 contract schools (I don't know). 87% of Chicago school districts students are from low income families and the system has a fiscal year 2012 operating budget of 5.11 billion dollars to educate 404,000 students. The Chicago public school systems Operating Expenses Per Pupil are $13,078 FY2012 per pupil. Onward ...
Washington, DC closed 23 schools in 2008 and planned to close 14 more over the next two years. Philadelphia announced earlier this month that it would be closing 23 schools.
In 2010 Kansas City, Missouri closed 26 of the district's 61 schools.
In late 2009 the city of Detroit closed 29 schools. More were planned.
Schools have been closing across the country at an alarming rate while local city and state school commissions are authorizing unprecedented expansion of seats in charter schools (see: Philadelphia authorizes 5,000 charter seats at a cost of $139 million over 5 years: http://thenotebook.org/blog/125462/mass-school-closings-why-numbers-dont-add
). Philadelphia is proposing to eliminate 1 in 6 public schools with 9 schools located in just two zip codes. Racism anyone? Well, racism disguised as class warfare ...
Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, (one of the White guys in suits not worth the starch in their collar) stated that "the economy is expediting school closures" which is true.
School districts across the country are facing grueling budget pressures because their main source of revenue – property taxes – have declined precipitously as a result of the foreclosure crisis (is there a need for me to explain that the foreclosure crisis is an enormous fraud to recapture real property [real wealth] when global financial dollar markets collapsed?). I wonder ...
In March of 2010 Mr. Domenech also stated that, "As bad as things are now, we see they're going to get worse next year. But it's the following year which is really going to be hard."
Mr. Domenech wasn't able to see as far ahead as 2013 and this year seems to be on track to rival previous years. Maybe Domenech was employing wishful thinking.
As an example of the trends we're seeing, at their peak in the 1960s Kansas City public schools educated 75,000 students a year and by 2000 that figure had dropped to 35,000. But that's not all. By 2010 it halved again and Kansas City only educated a scandalous 17,400 students in 2010. This incredibly dramatic drop is a clear indicator that somethings happening in the homeland but it's a figure we don't see, right? Now we see it.
Education experts stated that no other school district has closed as many schools as Chicago has announced that they would be closing in 2013. Remember what Domenech said? Remember what I said?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's children attend private school and he himself was on a fun-filled skiing trip (where every fat-bellied, dual-citizen globalist should be) when this years closings were recently announced. What's kept neatly hidden safely under the subterfuge like a white rabbit in a black top hat is the introduction of and replacement of these closed public schools with publicly funded "charter" or "non-profit" schools. I'll leave the non-profit status for another essay, not that there's anything necessarily wrong with it on the surface.
NIMBY is a pejorative characterization of opposition, generally or most often used to describe a feeling held by urban residents, to a proposal or new legislative development because of it's locality. Projects like chemical plants, military bases, landfills, power plants, prisons and of course SCHOOL CLOSINGS are likely to be opposed by local residents who use the terms, "Not In My Backyard" to describe their position. Those opposed to school closings claim, "Not In My Backyard!".
As an aside or if you need a break, the term NAMBI means "Not Against My Business," BANANA means "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything," SOBBY means "Some Other Bugger's Back Yard" and then there's the CAVE people which means "Citizen's Against Virtually Everything" (just so you can keep up with 21st century acronyms).
School closings result in NIMBY protests by local residents. It's always possible that there could be one or two CAVE people at NIMBY school closing protests but most attendees will be Nimbies.
The American public school system is an absolute failure as a whole anyway, by design of course for those of you familiar with Iserbyt, but are charter schools any better? (see: "The Dumbing Down Of America by Charlotte Iserbyt)
Charter schools are the epitome of privatization of the public school system with continued socialization of costs (albeit with severe belt tightening, so-to-speak) and depending entirely upon their motives, funding (which often depends on the communities socioeconomic scale so wealthy communities generally do well, poor communities, not so much) and administration they might be better and they might also be just as poor and in some cases they could very well be worse.
I realize it's an extraordinary stretch of the imagination to envision anything in a worse state of affairs than the current government managed public school system so I'm just saying it's possible.
I'm not fond of the public school system by any means (I realize this might be hard to believe but stick with me anyway) and my daughter and I toured several charter schools in Phoenix, Arizona in the mid-90s when she was a preteen (she's brilliant, but don't tell her) but she chose to stick it out and remain in the horrid public school system. She eventually dropped out of high school (who wouldn't?) and she's certainly a product of our government managed public school system. At almost 30 years old with two wonderful children of her own (one almost a teenager!) she recently asked me if 911 was a false flag event. I was under the impression most people across the globe already knew it was especially here in the US of A and I suppose I had fatherly high hopes that my daughter would be one of them. No such luck. That's the US public school system for you. Still, she's a brilliant consumer otherwise ...
I think it's inevitable that a large portion of the urban public school system will be converted to privately run, publicly funded charter schools. In wealthier communities we'll see Charter Schools emerge that operate on both public and private funds, perhaps with tuitions or fees of some sort.
Charter schools could, ostensibly, arrange for the cost of meals, dress code and books to be prohibitive to the average (today "average" is really "poor" but that's still yet another essay) parent with 2.3 kids. I can visualize wealthy gated-golf-coursed-country clubbed-majority-cracker-White communities developing such plans.
Over the coming years we're sure to see rapid, significant and often times remarkable changes in the American educational system so we should all resolve ourselves of that fact. We're already seeing a steep decrease in the instruction of music, theater, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, great books, languages and philosophy. These are parts of the Liberal Arts–the foundation of knowledge (see: Plato and Socrates) In fact, did they ever teach logic and rhetoric at all? Our children, as compared to those raised centuries ago (see: Plato and Socrates) are simply not as well educated. Statistics show that the average IQ in the United States has dropped measurably over the last 10 decades (see: Plato and Socrates).
Many of us living in urban areas across the country will find ourselves faced with little choice but to find a Charter school our children can attend. The alternative may be overloaded and underfunded public schools without physical education, theater, music, rhetoric or arts classes (there will, invariably, be further cuts in your own community). The classes may be far too large to accommodate individual student needs and thus ineffective at producing properly educated students prepared to tackle the real world (extremely difficult for even the best of the most educated among us).
Essentially, from my perspective, the US government has decided to wash its hands of education and dump educating the children of the civilian class on the alleged capitalist "free market" which is nothing more than a usurping system of wealth and resource extraction. Whether it extracts dollars or petroleum, your dollars or your oil (yes, all of that oil in the ground is really YOURS not Exxons!) it lives to extract. Extract, extract, extract. And let's not forget the shareholders.
Sure, if you reside in a wealthy community flush with property taxes and ripe with residents willing to contribute private funds your students will likely flourish in an environment conducive to learning. If not, not.
College tuition was, at one time, a pittance and today it's simply unreachable for most American families. That phrase, "when I was a boy ..." rings true because when I was a boy the cost of college was easily affordable for any state resident and now even state and community colleges are charging outrageous sums as a percentage of gross income (which, by the way, is the best way to judge an expense year to year).
It's going to be up to each and every one of us (those of us preparing to have children, that is) to decide whether we want to raise automatons; people who are designed to "fit" into the current system somewhere between nuclear physicist and hamburger flipper (with far more flippers than physicist positions available mind you) perpetuating the myths or are we going to raise cultured, knowledgeable, well-rounded and fully educated young people prepared to take on the world's ills along with it's fascinating mysteries, absolute horrors and awe-inspiring pleasures?
I think every person considering marriage and a family has a responsibility towards the children they intend to raise and I think all of us can respect that, right?
In 2007 there were an estimated 1 million 508 thousand homeschooled children in the United States which represents a 3% increase over 2003 (1,096,000). We should hope, for the sake of the country, that this increasing trend in homeschooling continues.
Some have said that the answer to 1984 is 1776 but I think the answer to 1984 is homeschooling. Spread the word.