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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Workers Unite!

What thinking person would ask for legal advice from someone who majored in biology in school?  Who would want cataract surgery performed by an accounting major?  What sort of parents would place their children's futures in the hands of a local school board that allows teachers without science degrees to teach science, to teach math without mathematics degrees, or to teach English without English degrees?  Surprise, it is your own school board and virtually all of the others across the US.

In his article "What Are Your Favorite Ideas For Improving Public Schools?" Bruce D. Price lists eight ways that public schools can be vastly improved.  Aside from requiring that all "teachers must major in the subjects they teach," he addresses the problem of bullying.  He asserts that we need to "Make schools safe and secure."  In most schools, violence seems to be "tacitly accepted."  In the educational environment, "children [are] committing acts that adults would be jailed for."  The problem is often three-fold; administrators resolutely avoid reporting crime to local law enforcement; state attorneys are reluctant to prosecute; and schools have discipline quotas that are determined by demographics.

The article offers other recommendations that merit consideration.
  • Support fast-track alternative credentialing.
  • Teachers must not be required to join a union.
  • Repeal, rescind, or scale back Race to the Top.
  • Cut the Department of Education in half.  And then do it again.
Nonetheless, making schools safe may be the most effective way to improve education in America.  By only prosecuting crimes that enhance their re-election prospects, local state attorneys general enforce the notion that crime and violence are acceptable from some perpetrators but not others.  This is little more than a government rationing system for violence.  Realize that whoever controls access to information gets to call all the shots.

The federal Education Department conducted a confidential survey of principals in "1,234 regular public elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."  These are some of their findings.
  • 53% of public elementary and secondary school principals reported that one or more incidents of crime or violence were reported to the police
  • 10% of all public schools had one or more serious violent crimes (murder, rape, sexual battery, suicide, physical attack or fight with a weapon, or robbery)
  • The most reported crime was physical attacks or fights without a weapon
  • Most of the serious violent crimes occurred in the middle and high schools
  • A larger percentage of violent crimes occurred in city schools and large schools (over 1000 students)
When crimes go unreported by responsible officials, information about the crimes that actually get reported is difficult or impossible to access, and popularity contests determine which crimes state attorneys prosecute, we are subsidizing violence in our schools.  Remember the axiom which states that if a condition persists in government, there are politicians benefiting from it.

There is a direct correlation between educational achievement and crime.  As education levels rise in a population, crime, especially violent crime, correspondingly decreases.  However, education level is not the only variable involved in violence in schools.  Children tend to model the behavior of the adults who are in their lives.  Poorly educated parents generally have poorly educated offspring.  Children who are shown how to get what they want through violence and intimidation perpetuate the cycle of violence.

Poverty is another factor that deserves examination.  People who are poor and uneducated are more likely to commit violent crimes.  Better educated and economically successful people tend toward white collar and victimless crimes. The aforementioned survey of school principals found that crime is relatively high in inner city schools.  Subsidized housing exists primarily in urban areas that are populated predominately by undereducated, economically distressed, violence prone people.

Since bullying and other forms of school violence are tacitly accepted, significantly underreported, rarely prosecuted despite the blatantly harmful effects on children, it exists because someone is benefiting from it.  Add to this sad mess that school administrators are bound by their superiors to a de facto system of discipline quotas that is determined by demographics.

The students who are most likely to commit violence are aided and abetted in their transgressions by school officials who help them avoid commensurate consequences for their actions.  They are disciplined less often, if at all.  Their punishment is in no way proportionate to their behavior.  Under this system, discipline, suspensions, and expulsions must reflect the ratio of student bodies' demographics.  White, Hispanic, black, and Asian disciplinary actions must be of equal proportions; therefore, allegations of rules infractions are contrived and fabricated in order to balance the numbers.  Those students who are least likely to be violent are scrutinized and disciplined more than those who attack them.     

Children do not thrive in violent environments.  Who could possibly benefit from subjecting unsuspecting children to a race and class war?  Worse yet, who could stoop so low?  Who would want to destroy merit based education by pandering to violent disruptors of schools?  Who profits from low graduation rates and graduates who lack vital job skills?  Who is behind sending pregnant adolescents straight from middle school to the welfare rolls and housing projects?

The education collective benefits.  More violence and academic failure has translated into more spending and more education employees.  Academic progressives in US universities (meaning almost all of them) and the other elements of the hate America crowd that delight in biting the hand that feeds them enjoy implementing their agenda.  Corrupt politicians who maintain public office with campaign contributions from money fleeced from taxpayers and money-laundered through education unions' PACs are benefiting also.

Perhaps it is time to end collective bargaining for most, if not all, public sector employees.  After all, we pay their salaries with money earned at jobs that often pay less than we are paying them.  Why subsidize people whose selfishness and greed is realized at our expense?  Workers (private sector) unite!

May your gods be with you.     

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