Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Would you salute a Corporate CEO for making $5 million stealing school children's lunch money?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) July 26th, 2012

ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is working overtime to convince state legislators that profits outweigh pupils and that public education should be a thing of the past, replaced by virtual schools in which nearly 1 out of every two taxpayer dollars allocated to education goes instead to corporate profits and CEO paychecks, not school buildings, teachers, or anything else that has to do with actual education. This video exposes ALEC’s model legislation to privatize education for the benefit of their corporate sponsors. Would you welcome an end to public education and a shift to for-profit, privatized schools? Do you think that for profit corporations would constantly drive down costs if they knew they could pass on increases to taxpayers?

If you are interested in ALEC and what they are doing, The Center for Media and Democracy has documented over 800 model bills they have written and are lobbying legislatures around the nation to pass for the benefit of the corporate sponsors. While my main concern here is where ALEC wants to take US primary and secondary education, feel free to comment on any of their legislative initiatives. Do you think ALEC is working for the good of America or not?

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24 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Now, that is kind of a leading question! But I was already scared of and disgusted with ALEC from what I had heard of them.

marinelife's avatar

This is appalling.

ETpro's avatar

@bookish1 I struggled with a way to bring this up and not make it such, but in the end I thought sharing it outweighed trying to strike some balance that makes me sound entirely neutral on the issue.

@marinelife Thanks. I think so too.

And right after posting this, I received an email with this link about the impact a good teacher can have.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I’m against for-profit schools at all levels. One can easily see the negatives in for-profit collegiate institutions (Low retention rates, high student debt rates, etc.) that for-profit is not ideal for education.

wundayatta's avatar

Why yes. Yes, I would!

I mean, it’s bullying when a kid does it on the playground. But when you elevate it to the level of a major corporation—that’s capitalism! That’s truth, justice, and the American way!

Sign me up. I want to steal lunch money, too!

Ron_C's avatar

We have just came out of a generation where the children were told that “greed is good”. People like the Libertarian Party are still working on these young people and there is the :Tea Party teaching older people that government is bad and wants to take away their social security and medicare (despite the fact that government provides those services.

In fact, it is only people like the Koch brothers and other self centered billionaires that are worried that their fortunes will somehow disappear but can be protected if they can get the little people to protect them.

Well it’s happened, the poor protect the rich and the rich steal from the country and the middle class. Private unions fight government unions and christians hate muslims. In the mean while the richest are becoming richer and more powerful. I expect that America is getting what it deserves. “American Exceptialism”==bullshit.

creative1's avatar

I think rather than something like that happening a parent would be told that your child had a choice to attend any school and the school district would pay x amount of dollars of that education which could be a full amount for a public type school or the parent could kick some in to get their child a private education. This way public school districts have to actually teach the kids in their district or risk having the child move to another school of the parents choosing. I think some districts have given up on the kids and they are just left to fall through the cracks. This way if a teacher wasn’t preforming up to par they would be let go and the school would want only the best teachers to attract more students.

Linda_Owl's avatar

ALEC is dangerous to all Americans no matter which way that you look at them. I am glad that some organizations have pulled their funding from ALEC, but too many organizations are still pouring funds into their pockets (and don’t even get me started on the KOCH brothers!!).

Jaxk's avatar

Since 1970 the number of K-12 students has increased by 10%. The money spent by government on that education has doubled. During that time we went from leading the world in our education system to somewhere way back in the pack. Obviously public education is a resounding success. If you are poor or middle class and you son or daughter is in a failing school, you have NO OPTIONS. You are relegated to watch them fail in their life. A small price to pay for keeping the teachers union prosperous.

Frankly this question sounds like the old Government good, business bad, argument the Democrats have been pushing for the past 4 years. Let’s not consider anything that might help fix the problem, let’s just keep doing what we’ve been doing.

bkcunningham's avatar

I love the scary movie in the video. Like a horror movie. I kept waiting on something to jump out at me. Now what is it that the video said they were doing to the school system exactly, @ETpro, that you oppose.

ETpro's avatar

@athenasgriffin I agree. The one thing the for-profit colleges springing up seem to be good at is marketing and hoodwinking potential students into paying an exorbitant amount and taking on high-interest debt for a decidedly inferior education. I know there are some great private educational institutions, but they are not the recent crop set up strictly to make money.

@wundayatta Ha. I guess if the choice is be a robber baron or be robbed, I’ll take the royal title too.

@Ron_C There was a time when thinking of America as exceptional actually fit with observable facts. That time is past, and the Greed is Good crowd are largely to blame for this nation’s decline.

@creative1 I totally understand the appeal of vouchers, but my fear is that they are a right-wing plan to destroy public education. Once it’s gone, prices for good schools can go through the roof so only the plutocrats can get a real education, and the rest of the crowd can be converted into the wage slaves the Greed is Good guys yearn for.

@Linda_Owl I totally concur.

@Jaxk I tried to look up the facts on this, and the only thing I could find on numerous sites was a chart for the far-right CATO Institute. Not trusting that spin factory, I searched on, and found several relatively unbiased sources that lead me to guess CATO is up to their usual business of substituting propaganda for fact. This data for instance, leads me to think their chart is bunk.

I totally agree our educational system needs fixing, but I totally disagree with throwing the baby out with the bath water. Public education, and good public education, made this nation great. I’m all for fixing it, but not by scrapping it.

@bkcunningham Very specifically, I object to the idea of virtual schools funded at the same level that regular schools are, but operated by a for-profit corporation that pockets half the dollars per student for their CEO and investors, and cuts costs by eliminating any classrooms and having one remote teacher supposedly “teach” hundreds of students, each at home on their own PC. Only 24% of them are preforming at even the minimum levels required by states for their schools. This is not the solution.

bkcunningham's avatar

Where are these “schools” operating, @ETpro? What locations and how long have they been in business? It is a little odd to me too but I can’t find anything about them.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

Just so I understand the rules here. You can post a video from a far left wacko, with no real information, just rumor and innuendo and we are to take that as fact. If anyone responds with any facts or information that doesn’t support that wacko, it must be verified by the same or similar far left wacko for you to believe it or give it any credence. Is that about it?

Alec is all about providing options. If you don’t like those options you can maintain the same education you have now. Just don’t drag the rest of us down with you.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I’m made of rubber and you’re made of glue. Everything you say about me bounces off and sticks to you.

@bkcunningham K12 is operating here in Massachusetts. That’s where its dismal performance records come from.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

What ever happened to the rational, logical debating style of old.

snowberry's avatar

K12 can’t be all bad if a kid actually learns to read and write. I’ve seen too many public schools where they routinely graduate kids who can’t read, and are totally disfunctional in society. That’s like the public school where we used to live, and it’s why we chose to homeschool.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I found logical useless in debating with someone who only considers facts relevant when they support his belief system.

@snowberry Only 24% of their students are even performing at their state’s lowest requirements. That means 76% are below standards even when those standards are far below the top performing nation’s.

bkcunningham's avatar

@ETpro, there are two communities participating in K12 in Massachusetts. They are Monson and Greenfield. Monson only offers K9–12 and Greenfield offers K-8. I understand from this article that the Greenfield schools were the first to operate in Mass. and it started in the fall of 2010. So Monson started after that and I’m assuming schools there have operated for perhaps a year now.

Where can I find the stats that show how dismally they are performing?

bkcunningham's avatar

I found this; report. I also found this; it looks like Greenfield, the K-8 schools are preforming below standards.

You are more familiar with the area and the information than I, @ETpro. I am trying to educate myself on the subject you brought up and it is very, very interesting to me. Are all of the schools in the districts participating in the virtual school program. I see from the Greenfield stats that high schools are included in the figures and they aren’t part of the K12 curriculum in the Greenfield area.

What other factors and insight can you tell us about the schools in Mass., using the K12 program? I wondered why they implemented the program in the first place. Was Monson students performing poorly prior to the program? It appears that the students are scoring great under the K12 program.

Ron_C's avatar

Education is essential in a democracy. The only way a democracy can work is if citizens work to maintain it. The less educated the public, the easier it is to lead. If you don’t believe that look at the base member of the Tea Party. Don’t get me wrong, the leaders are intelligent and well educated; the members, not so much.

Groups that work to degrade public education, attack teachers, and attempt to privatize all things that only should be done by the government are as anti-American and anti-democracy as any member of the former Soviet Union’s Politburo or brown shirted Nazi.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham I wish I could be of more help. My youngest graduated from high school back in 2003 in Virginia, so I have no direct experience with high schools of any kind hear in MA.

@Ron_C That’s what makes this drive to privatize public education so Orwellian.

Ron_C's avatar

@ETpro I think that the people driving to privatize schools are of two different sorts. The first doesn’t intend to send their kid to public school, no matter what. Either they think the schools is too dangerous or substandard or they the devout of some religion and wouldn’t think of sending kids to anything but a school that will properly brainwash them.

The other type is simply ignorant and assume that anything run buy the government is wasteful and corrupt. They forget two things, first they are the government and need to become involved in its processes. Secondly private schools that want to take over public ones are doing so to make a profit from local taxes. Something has to give and it is always the quality of education in favor of corporate profits. Schools go from a zero over-head to at least a 20% that comes directly from tax money. Are we really here to support corporate profits over our children’s education?

ETpro's avatar

@Ron_C Correct on all counts.

SamandMax's avatar

Damn it always late to the party

I’m going to be a bore and just answer the simplified question instead of the details and nitty-gritty bits and pieces.

Would I salute a Corporate CEO for making $5 million stealing school children’s lunch money?

Salutes. There’s nothing more profound in non-verbal communication than a salute. Be it military style, or a single finger, it beats the heck out of saying words sometimes doesn’t it? I would not salute the aforementioned corporate CEO, the only effective form of communication for that sort of individual would be a punch in the face.
Primitive maybe, definitely barbaric, but effective.

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