While our public schools may sometimes be less than effective in teaching our children, corporate profit motives have a much more ulterior and exploitive interest in what our children do at school.
Community health, joy, and empowerment are much more beneficial to a community than to corporation shareholders. A strong and healthy community is somewhat of a threat to outside managers, marketing propagandists, and their bottom lines. Humanity and our connections to one another are part of the public good and are often in conflict with heavily marketed standards of academic progress and prescriptions for achieving such standards. As such, from a blunt corporate strategic perspective, your child’s learning ought not happen in inherently human-centered ways lest corporate profits diminish.
Large corporations lobby the government and essentially pass legislation (such as No Child Left Behind) that define standards best suited to their own agendas. Furthermore, these now government supported “standards” are “achieved” through tests that the very same companies promote and sell. Progress in humanity-based learning such as critical thinking, motor-skills development, creative arts, and in the active literacy components of writing and speaking, are devalued.
Money devalues what it can not measure.
Learning depends on good teachers and a healthy community. However, corporations profit from technocratic educators and the data processing of test scores, etc. As such, large publicly funded institutions have also become co-opted to produce professional educators given the exclusive right to teach as long as they uphold, conciously or not, this corrupt agenda.
Does anybody smell a rat here?
The Hawaii DOE superintendent says, “Our mission is to see that students have the knowledge and skills to be successful adults.” As taxpayers paying for this “mission”, we as a community rather than private business should be determining what defines a successful adult.
These are typical ways that corporations make big money in this post-industrial era. They define what the “needs” of the citizenry are; then they sell you the “remedy”. Such exploitation happens when the public good, such as clean air, clean water, and various other forms of community wellness, including good schools and good teachers, are “appropriated” by corporations. Thus, the humane benefits of what was formerly a healthy community are squashed out to satisfy the inherent greed and impersonality of a corporation.
A better use of our public monies would be to support our communities’ efforts at teaching our children, using technologies and methods appropriate for those communities.
The current system has grown out of a belief that a global market economy is ultimately the only way to manage lives in the communities on this earth. Apparent to many of us is the reality that economic consideration placed above community health leads to tragic exploitation of any people or environments connected with values beyond that of money.
Public citizenry paying taxes that support education have every right to have a say in who is allowed to teach in our public schools and in what manner.
Perhaps our public schools are indeed less than ideal. However, rather than relinquishing the chance to participate in school decision-making, it’s time to see this exploitation-from-afar for what it is and to declare our right to make decisions locally.
Courtney Carroll : Schooling