How do the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia support their public schools? Badly, according to a new report card (see in full below) which evaluates their performance on six key criteria and finds all of them wanting. The best overall grade is a C, with most states earning D’s or F’s.
The big state university from which I recently retired still thinks it is going to break into the top ten (of public institutions) by hiring hot shot researchers for big bucks (while dropping crumbs for existing faculty, of course). The "F" on the state's public schools might just hold it back--oh shit, it WILL hold it back. Allowing culture wars to be played out among the educational systems has been a disaster for this country. Education should be publicly funded and overseen by true educators who do not have a political stake in the process.
An informed citizenry is the enemy of oligarchy.
Many of these low grades are the result of TONS of money being siphoned into not just charter schools... the majority of these schools are affiliated either with the Catholic Church or Fundamentalist Christianity.
As Barry Lynn explains in his book, "God and Government," this sinister misdirection of funds is a direct violation of the important wall between church and state. That wall has been vastly eroded and a lot of people think this is not a problem.
When kids grow up in fundamentalist homes and are told that anyone who doesn't believe as they do is "not saved" and therefore a dangerous heathen; and when they go to churches where their "spiritual leaders" tell them that Islamic terrorists are a scourge and that it's an act of faith to join an army to expunge them... where is there any narrative to oppose this saturation of false ideas? It's pure indoctrination.
Add in the premise that the earth is 7000 years old and people lived WITH dinosaurs, the questioning of evolution, the prejudice against gay persons and women who dare to define their own reproductive destinies... and this group's intolerance qualifies as one of the most dangerous things to human beings, any prospect of peace, and the planet's ecological sustainability.
When corporations are able to avoid taxes in return for creating jobs of questionable value: (because they are always hawking themselves all over the world to see if they can get a better deal somewhere else).
When the wealthy are able to excuse themselves from paying what they should for the extraordinary benefit their wealth has granted them by buying influence in the legislatures of the land: (because these peoples function like so many civic prostitutes instead of representing the interests of ALL the people in their jurisdiction) :
Then you have a perfect recipe for the defunding of government services and their replacement with high stakes testing the diminishing of providing educational opportunities for all students and not just the merit scholars headed for elite academic colleges.
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More than two decades ago I was hired as a professor at a top ten US research university and quickly learned that salary and tenure were dependent on how many corporate "research" dollars a professor could bring in. Within a year I ran away from that place and never looked back. Near as I can tell, the corporate research money model has spread to most other universities.
The best overall grade is a C, and the Bay State is one of the C "students" Still not good.