At this time in American history anyone with gumption and a disregard for children and their futures, or the future of America, can obtain wealth, help destroy public district schools, and gain access to the education tax dollars citizens pay.
Here’s how You can become wealthy:
Get rid of locally elected boards of education. Many are already compromised by lack of citizen interest, so bypass them. Start a school of choice and put yourself in as head of the governing board and maybe head teacher or some other paying position. Get your cronies involved. Once in control, you decide how the taxpayer dollars allotted for kids are spent. Mix capital and operational dollars and you can end-up owning buildings and equipment. Form a non-profit that can receive public money and donations and then contract with for-profit buddies (and yourself) to run the school. Contract with companies you start, or get kick-backs and special treatment from “providers.” Call your school: “An experiment,” and you can get away with almost anything.
Anyone can teach, so hire attractive and racially appropriate people you know. You can avoid socialistic things like living wages, retirement programs, and dollars spent on useless things like continuing education. The idea that teachers need four years of college, often a masters degree in education focused on their subject areas, and that vetting teachers through a process of certification, hiring, evaluations, proven performance prior to tenure, and continuing education requirements may seem valid, but where dollars are the priority they make certified, experienced teachers too expensive.
Create your own facilities, even though, maybe only a block or two away, taxpayer have already financed, built and maintain complete educational facilities – think land, resources like science labs, libraries, resource centers, classrooms, rest rooms, athletic fields and gyms, art classrooms, music rooms and performance halls, theaters, cafeterias, administrative offices… you know, all the things kids and teachers need. Luckily, your idea of a school can ignore or if necessary replicate at taxpayer expense all these taxpayer paid for resources if profit is the motive. For the things parents will demand, if competition works in this marketplace, you may have to provide some of them, just make certain you end-up owning the facilities, equipment, and instructional materials by renting or leasing from yourself or your fellow profiteers
Buy your curriculum and instruction materials from companies that short curricula to streamline education and increase profits and personal ideologies. Find fundamentalist, religious and ideological organizations that provide cheap curricula – so what if they inculcate their beliefs? Ignore more than a century of research, experience, and hard work which has resulted in identifying essential foundation skills every child must have to succeed. Find politically motivated privatizers who are introducing new Common Core Standards that work to increase profits, and cut or dismantle curricula in every discipline except math and reading, they promise.
Use free public resources like the Internet to create virtual schools that don’t need buildings, print books, good teachers or anything related to interactive, fact-based education. The money saved by going virtual can go directly into your salary and profits for “investors,” and expansion. Ignore the large and valid body of information that shows that virtual resources are part of a good teacher’s war chest, and that on-line or virtual schools do not provide the necessary foundation and interactive skills the great majority of students need. Ignore information coming from employers and the military about the shallowness and limitations of on-line, virtual, education.
Don’t get hooked by facts thrown out by educators in public schools, colleges and universities, and parents who have lost children to this rush for gold. They will write, give speeches, blog and cry about what is happening to kids and to a cohesive America – you know, the one where a child could go to any public school from Florida to Alaska, anywhere in the US, and get a fact-based, comprehensive, curriculum- based, interdisciplinary education. These people are only working to protect their jobs and keep dollars out of the hands of true educational change agents like yourself.
Finally, use any means necessary to ride the wave of Pearson testing. NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and RTT (Race To The Top) can be used to prove that the students in your school(s) are achieving at or above students in district schools. All you have to do is eliminate most areas of instruction (essential disciplines other than math and reading. For example fact-based civics and government and courses that require critical thinking), and cherry-pick students from district schools that read, and who test well in math. Warning! Don’t enroll minority students unless they are high achievers like Asians. Expel students who fail to prove the value of your educational program. If scores are still too low, blame unions and teachers and, of course the parents who don’t do what parents must. Also, what seems to work for many schools of choice: Falsify the test scores. By the time anybody has figured out how to check, and the damaged kids are known (but gone), you will have made your pile and can quit the business, go to another district and do it again, or join one of the many foreign owned and run charter schools that need front men/women.
Good luck, you are not alone. Failed educators and greed-driven corporations and organizations like those who control ALEC are running interference for you. Bill Gates, Walmart heirs, Rupert Murdoch, Jeb Bush, Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, the Koch Brothers, most GOP state governors, even the US Secretary of Education are fending off facts and reality to help you profit. Over 600 billion dollars a year are up for grabs. Make sure you get yours. Remember, children and their futures, and the future of America are of no concern in this great education windfall. Call it free enterprise capitalism. None dare call it education.
I was asked if I wrote this tongue-in-cheek. No, it is just that I’m not fact–adverse.