January 30, 2012
Human avarice knows no bounds. People will get over any way they possibly can especially in these times of economic woe. For the most part I have come to take a natural attitude toward this reality but there is one realm of society in which greedy people always manage to piss me off.
The education of poor children is probably the biggest scam in America. So many agencies gain money from the continued failure of black and brown children that it’s disgusting. Thousands of grants are given to people who don’t care about children at all.They are unscrupulous individuals who couldn’t care less about the daily struggles of a teacher to inspire a child to read a book when that child has experienced more tragedy in 12 years than most people do in a lifetime.
Teaching is for broke people, they say. The real money is in educating teachers to teach toward standardized testing. In order to be successful one must look at children as if they are data, statistics, and ultimately dollar signs. Then and only then will you see the big bucks. Think outside of the classroom, think outside of love, and think outside of poverty.
The truth is that schools are a business that will always be profitable because people will always see education as a pathway toward success. And poor folks will almost always want better for their children. That’s why demagogues line up around the block to be the next superintendent for your nearest inner-city public school and that’s why today’s entrepreneurs are choosing education over real estate because business is booming.
Trust me when I say that non-profits are very profitable and there is much more money in making promises to raise test scores in ghetto schools than there is running a beauty salon or opening up a liquor store.
What makes the situation even more disturbing is there are a huge number of minorities who are getting rich off of poor kids of color. A parent whose child was victimized in the recent Atlanta test scores scandal described that situation as “The worst case of black on black crime ever seen.” As a person who has worked in the field of education for my entire adult life I don’t know if I can disagree with that.