Rick Snyder’s “One F*cked Nerd Edukashun Primer” (Ch. 1—Skip School. Just Send Kids Directly to Prison.)

by Pete Nicely

Chris Christie gave right-wingers all over America multiple orgasms when he told a teacher from his state that it’s “none of your business” if he sends his kids to private school. Assumed-moderate Rick Snyder would never be so brave in public. But if voters are looking for someone who is crudely insensitive to the needs of his constituents, Snyder is the nerd you are looking for.

Dostoevsky once famously Tweeted, “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” And the key question you’d ask while making such a judgment would be, “Can I tell the prisons from the schools?”

Clearly, the agenda of your favorite corporations is to privatize two places that richest people in America will never see: prisons and public schools. General apathy for the incarceration of the poor makes prison privatization easy—just promise to make it cheap and brutal. But to really monetize education, any value that’s exists in public education must be wrest from the grubby claws of the children of those socialists who still dare to attend non-private schools.

And until our schools resemble our prisons, the dream of McEducation will be deferred.

So how do you destroy public schools? It’s easy.

1.     Never send your kids to public schools. This is going to be messy and there’s no reason your own family should have to suffer. And to make sure your child only learns the definition of suffering, donate extra money to his or her school on top of the outrageous tuition you pay.

2.     Cut funding to public school to pay for tax breaks for the biggest corporations in the state. Slash $370 per student. Do this because you can, because recalling you is too big of a pain in the ass, because you still seem sane compared to other GOP governors who are waging war on the few workers who still have decent benefits and wages.

3.     Fire teachers. Don’t worry; you already took care of this with step 2. For every 200 students, one teacher will lose his or her job.

4.     Force the good teachers who still have a job start looking for a new career. Destroy tenure, maim collective bargaining and slash benefits. Do this in the name of competition, which you are a master of because you used to run a computer company that may or may not still exist.

5.     Make life difficult for any school that promises hope to poor kids. Last thing a kid needs to get at school is ideas.

6.     Force K-12 schools to compete with colleges and universities for funds. Why? Why do we throw change at the homeless? To see them dive.

7.     Pray for an economic recovery to begin the day after President Romney is sworn in. This is your only hope to complete your 10-year plan to turn public education into another way to help the top 1 percent finance their new homes in Vail.

Honestly, it probably isn’t any of your business where Chris Christie and Rick Snyder send their kids to school. What is your business is what they do with your kids.

And until we recognize that the master plan of the right in this country to destroy public institutions that made us great by turning them into profit centers, we might as well skip school all together and send our kids straight to prisons. Because in this nerd’s Michigan, your child is just another number—next to a dollar sign.

Short URL: http://www.a2politico.com/?p=10689

10 Comments for “Rick Snyder’s “One F*cked Nerd Edukashun Primer” (Ch. 1—Skip School. Just Send Kids Directly to Prison.)”

  1. Did it seem like I was disagreeing with that sentiment? That’s why I meant it’s a blessing. Every job is a nightmare, and the good teachers appreciate the involvement. The question is how to replicate these dynamics in every school. Geoffrey Canada Harlem Children’s Zone is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a whole cloth solution to the problem of generational poverty.

    Because in reality, a kid who comes from a family where a parent is motivated to complain is going to do just fine. Just as the kid of a family who can pay for a private school would. The focus is to improve all schools so the ones that work aren’t used to dismantle hope for the rest. That said, I will never argue on the Internet again!

  2. @A2 If you’ve ever worked in a public school (which you may have, but your presumptuousness requires a jab), you’d know that richer, engaged parents are a nightmare for the staff and a blessing for the kids. That’s how schools thrive with pushback and dialogue. But it’s a red herring. The real issue is how to replicate these middle class dynamics for poor kids without selling our schools to the idea that reform requires dismantling a system that could work for everyone into an ad hoc mess of inequality.

    • @Pete, I am one of those nightmare parents, and it’s how, at the moment, teacher tenure is dealt with in various Districts. I believe that the teacher who was ever-so-gently forced to retire because I wouldn’t let up on the fact that she was totally incompetent meant that ALL of the kids in the school got the benefit, not just my kids. Engaged parents shouldn’t be a nightmare for the staff. Engaged parents are the customers, and when the employees start feeling like the customers are a pain in the ascot, there’s something terribly wrong with the business.

      My kids have teachers who are fantastic, wonderful, dedicated women and men. They also have teachers who are lazy, feckless, and should have been ever-so-gently fired a long time ago. Then, they have the teachers in the middle who, with some mentoring and supervision could be fantastic, wonderful and dedicated. I agree with Education Secretary Arne Duncan that two-thirds of teachers in most Districts are doing a good job. I also agree with Michelle Rhee that excellent teachers should earn six-figure salaries and that teachers who can’t be mentored or trained to do their jobs reasonably well, should be steered out of teaching.

      Research shows great teachers and poor teachers are sprinkled almost at random throughout school districts. In other words, a rich district is just as likely to have the same percentage of great teachers and poor teachers as a poor district. So, the issue is not poor children, but rather the quality of the teaching.

  3. Leave it to Ann Arbor principals to complain about getting
    complained about, talk about a set that just wants
    to do what they want to do. The Super doesn’t
    control principals,
    the principals don’t control the teachers,
    and that’s why it’s a nightmare.

  4. @Pete, if you have ever had a kid in the public schools you know that parents are, by one measure, incredibly powerful and by another measure, absolutely powerless against a huge bureaucracy. The richer the District, the more vocal parents tend to be. I’ve heard from a School Board member that Ann Arbor is a nightmare for administrators, because parents go right from the principal to the Superintendent when there are problems with teachers. I don’t see any problem with that, frankly. However, even in Ann Arbor there are NAAPID days and bring your parents to school days in an effort to keep parents engaged in a very tightly-controlled way.

  5. @Joe, I was just talking about this “fight the union” thing on my morning walk. I have always questioned why professionals, such as teachers, need unions. That’s another discussion. However, it makes me nervous that the idea that education can’t be improved by focusing on TEACHING is currently in vogue. Unions are not panaceas, nor should they be whipping boys.

  6. @Pete: I would say the plan is to educate the kids first.

    Unfortunately, if you want any change in government run schools,
    you first must fight the unions. See: http://www.joannejacobs.com/2011/08/union-reveals-how-it-blocked-parent-trigger/ Who is making parents feel powerless here?

  7. The parochial schools have the key element of a successful school: engaged parents.

    Charter schools are just another way to privilege a few schools to make the others look bad. All part of the plan. Defund, regulate against unions and make parents feel powerless.

  8. @Patricia: People on the right aren’t human?

    If anything, folks on the right care more about others more,
    people on the right typically give far more to charity than those more lined
    with the left. Want to look up a parochial school that does
    really well in down-trodden inner cities, that doesn’t cherry-
    pick the best kids, that has nearly all the kids going on to
    college: http://www.cristoreynetwork.org/

    Former LA Mayor wrote a piece on Catholic schools: http://bit.ly/oRlIiy

    FYI: Charter schools are public schools, the money comes from
    the government, just like other public schools.

    Also, if you’re going to pick on the governor for sending his
    kids to private school, look no further than to your president
    for where he sends his kids. Sidwell Friends is not a DC
    Public School.

  9. Patricia Roberts

    Great write!!!
    Not many parents can afford private schooling, paraochial or charter schools for their children! The right only care about their own.

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