Saturday, January 21, 2017

I Want Each Of You To Remember The People Who Taught You by Cheryl Gibbs Binkley

Sorry, I just can't leave Trumps speech passages about our school system standing. First of all, I want each of you to remember the people who taught you, and the schools you went to.
Now, I want you to think about the people who teach your children or grandchildren, or your nieces and nephews. You know, that kindergarten teacher who waited with them the day they were sick and you were trying to get there from work. Or the music teacher who worked every night til 10 and was teased mercilessly by the older boys, but trained generations of musicians in a town that would not have had any music. That English teacher who helped them or you with your college essay, or resume for that job application. The teacher who gave up a career as a scientist to teach you or your children chemistry or physics? The one who bought pencils and paper for when your kid ran out, and gave them lunch money the day they forgot theirs, but works on the side to make ends meet because s/he's paid so little? Remember the books they read to you, that taught you your numbers, your letters, the solar system, the battles and wars, and to be kind and respect one another? The one who read The Raven so spookily at Halloween that it still give you the shivers? The Christmas and Hannukah songs of all those holiday concerts, and the football and baseball coach who taught you sportsmanship and nagged you when you let your grades drop?
And please think about the schools in your community-- the buildings and fields your hard earned tax dollars built and keep repaired for the kids in your neighborhood or town, with a gym and a library, and an auditorium/theatre, and computers. You built those schools, not the federal government, and not rich men like Trump who negotiate out of paying their property taxes.
OK-- See that in your mind? Those are the teachers Trump says are awash in money and the schools he says are terrible. Those are Your schools he is badmouthing. And the kids he claims know nothing? He's claiming YOU and Your Children know nothing.
He wants to take those schools and give them to venture capital companies, and billionaires like the Waltons (yes the Waltons are very into creating new schools) and they will manage them from New York, or Los Angeles or Chicago or maybe other smaller places only 200 or 300 miles away.
He wants to place teachers in your kids classes who, like his nominee the other night, don't know how old a kid is when they can understand abstract processes like Algebra, and don't know the difference between measuring how much a kid has grown as opposed to how tall they are.
Already there are states that are not requiring Bachelor's degrees or certification for the new type schools. Eventually, the plan is to just give the students a computer and it will be up to them to manage their own learning and classes. That saves money so the CEO can make money like the CEO of your Insurance company makes. Actually, that's not fair, lots of of charter/private heads only make in the 250K to half million dollar range, a few make more.
Mr. Trump would like to give you a voucher to cover this new corporate school which will drain the school you built of all it's resources. Both schools can't have the same dollar. The voucher may only cover part of the tuition to the new Corporate-Charter-Private school, so you will have to pay the rest. Like they give you 7,000, but the cost is 10,000 so you pay the 3,000 they don't cover. And of course you will have to pay extra for extras, like special electives and activities, not a flat activities fee, or the cost of uniforms, no a lot more than that.
And, the new school you get the voucher for will not provide several key things-- like special help if your child is too active, or has dyslexia or autism spectrum issues, or has medical problems like hearing or seeing, or seizure disorders or diabetes. But if your child has one of those things they can still go to the old school, only it won't have the money to provide the special services anymore. Also, the new school will not have to provide bus service. That will be on you.
But this will provide a new money market for Wall-Street venture funds and investors. And everyone knows rich businessmen and economists are known for how they understand and are so attuned to children. Of course, once they have commandeered your local property taxes for their company, there won't be building any new schools with that money or repaving the parking lot when it needs it. All our towns will start to look like Detroit's schools where Ms. DeVos has hand selected the management methods.
The great thing about the schools that Trump and his nominee want to give you is that they will teach religion- Christianity, probably. Only it may not be your Christianity. Ms. DeVos belongs to a very small sect that teaches predestination. Evangelical denominations tend not to believe that. They believe you choose to be saved. It's not assigned to you. And in a mixed town we don't know which denomination or sect they will pick. They will have to choose between Catholic, Church of Christ, or Baptist, but at least it's some kind of religion. It doesn't really matter if the kids are taught some of them are not elect and can't opt in. Of course, Trump really hasn't been to church too much, so he's probably open to whatever religion they teach as long as it's not Islam or taught the way the Mexicans believe.
So there you have it. That's Trump's plan. How do we know? We already know what Betsy DeVos has done in Michigan, and the Venture-Choice Schools community has a handbook, several handbooks including a plan with instructions on how to conquer the school choice market state to state. As soon as they can peel off the federal dollars that used to go to Special Ed (IDEA) and Poor schools (Title 1 money), and as soon as they pass the bills pending in the state house ALEC has brought that declares the state will be able to force localities to accept the new schools and pay for them.
So before you believe what Mr. Trump says about our schools, you may want to ask yourself-- Was Miss White, or Coach True awash in money? Were our schools awash in money when we needed to build a new one during the baby boomlet? Or did we struggle to build something great for our kids?
As for me, I'd rather join the PTA and ask the local school board for that new computer class or CTE elective than have to ask the CEO in Philadelphia whether we can have it after he's got our local tax dollars.

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