Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shocked! Shocked! Yet Again

A big headline on the front page of The Arizona Republic announces a teacher shortage in Arizona!!!!

No shit?

Gee, you think the fact that the state doesn't value education or teachers at all has anything to do with that?

This state had to be sued in order to force it to adequately fund public schools. Sued! Naturally, the state lost, but, of course, they're still refusing to pay up. Because we value education only as long as it take us to say "we value education."

And when I say "we" I mean the Republicans who have been running Arizona for a long, long time. And when I say "running" I mean "into the ground."

As a man on the radio in my long ago youth was fond of saying, "this is a state that glorifies bankers and vilifies teachers."

That's not entirely fair. Only public school teachers are vilified. They are, after all, members of a union (gasp!), and therefore the root of our problems.

If, on the other hand, you start a charter school, whatever your "qualifications", you will be exalted. State money will be showered upon you. You can even pick and choose what kind of students you want--or don't want. And no questions will be asked. No standards will be enforced. market solution?

This assault from the right on public education can probably be traced back to the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs The Board of Education, back in the 1950's.

See, and this is going to surprise the hell out of you, living as you do in post racial America, but some white people are racist to their very core. I know, I was shocked to find it out myself. Shocked!

So, in the places they control, and that includes Arizona, everything becomes a game of keeping "them" away from "us". Depending on where you live, "them" can be African-Americans, Latinos, poor whites, or a combination thereof.

Since public schools are often full of "them", we must keep public schools in a constant state of disrepair and disarray. Because a permanent undereducated underclass sure comes in handy come hiring time...

And, as an extra benefit, we can blame the teachers (and their union, of course) for not being able to do the impossible job we've given them.

Talk about a win-win!

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