Wednesday, March 17, 2021

UPDATED: Briefly Noted: Schools, Scams, Jobs

Three good reads that tell us a lot about America.


Cancel Public School

If we took the future of the nation seriously, we would end public schools tomorrow.

This article is built around an anecdote. The author recounts a friend's experience. The friend teaches Sunday school to 4th graders from Harlem, in NYC. The friend came across two "students" who were unable to read. They had been passed through the first four grades but simply had never learned to read even simple English. 

He goes on to point out:

The New York City public school system spends $28,800 per student per year—more than anywhere else in the world. A brand-new public school teacher with a master’s degree and zero prior experience starts at $65,000 a year, plus benefits.

We know that this really does happen in America, and we know that these kids usually come from minority and low income communities--those who need a good early foundational education if they're ever going to become productive, reasonably satisfied citizens. These, according to several mainstream studies by outfits like the WaPo are the kids who have been hurt the most by the government teacher unions that have kept schools closed.

And of course the situation is even worse than what we're usually told. Those tests that showed these kids being left behind were only administered to the kids who actually took the tests. We're learning--surprise!--that nationwide there are many millions of kids who have stopped participating or "attending" their schools. 

Developmental psychologists will tell you that the longer kids go without educational stimulus on a regular, organized basis, the less likely it becomes that they will ever catch up. Yet this is what has been inflicted on these communities. What do you imagine the effect will be on those communities?

To rub it in, Thomas Lifson in 

Lockdowns as class warfare of the rich and the professional class against the working class

reminds us:

Unionized teachers in public schools, members of the lower income tier of educated professionals, still have not gone to work in schools in many places, as their unions scheme to use taxpayer relief dollars to pay them bonuses for trips to Hawaii and other goodies, ...

Government teachers get their salaries and scheme to scam us for bonuses, while the most at risk kids go down the tubes.

Logically, one might ask: Who will man the jobs of the future in our tech sector? As it happens, Bloomberg did a study that provides the answer, via Zerohedge:

Up To Two-Thirds Of Entry-Level Tech Jobs Go To Foreign Guest-Workers From Unranked Colleges

Of course the tech companies will tell you that they can't find qualified Americans, but the reality is different:

A new report from Bloomberg reveals that up to two-thirds of entry-level tech jobs go to foreign guest workers from low-ranked colleges who don't dare complain about long work long hours and low wages lest they destroy their chances of a green card - as opposed to hiring debt-laden American graduates willing to grind just as hard, yet have no such immigration leverage to exploit.


When it comes to education, few OPT workers [i.e., foreign workers] attended ranked colleges. "More than 70% of nonresident computer science master’s degrees awarded in 2018 came from unranked programs, or those ranked 50 and lower by U.S. News and World Report. Just 17% came from schools ranked in the top 25.

So the system works. We ultimately get what we vote for, and what we apparently vote for is to make the rich richer and to beggar our children.

UPDATE: File this under the Inmates at least helping to run the asylum: Lawsuit: Maryland County Is Letting Sixth Graders Vote For School Board. An interesting feature of this program is that only government school students get to vote for a student rep on the school board. In other words, all those people whose taxes go to the government schools but whose children don't attend those government schools don't get a voice or vote. Shouldn't they be getting a refund on their taxes? I'm having trouble coming to grips with the Lib mentality.


  1. Mark, on one hand I've been reading your blog for some time now because the subject matter interests me...OTOH, you are beginning to bum me out because of the subject matter, sigh, which is not your fault, but what is there to look forward to anymore, so to speak? Gloom, despair, agony on me...Hee Haw anyone?

    1. I feel the same way sometimes.

    2. Not big on sighing - have never seen a man do it - but the subject matter these days is pretty gloomy. Life is not always laughing and scratching and yuks or hee haws. We are given good minds that need to read good information and analysis. We can put that information to good use.

      Those wags for whom it is just too much can always find something to please them elsewhere. Diffr’nt strokes.

      BTW, what is there to look forward to? The sun coming up in the morning. The flowers. The eternal beauty of the mountains and the ocean. (The joy of California.) Our families, children, grandchildren. The good still so outweighs the stuff that Biden Inc can inflict. Why would we decide to put our heads in the sand to avoid the negative?

    3. actually, lots of men in the military do in, you come around the corner and there in front of you is an overturned truck with its cargo of missiles strewn all over the road. The first thing you do is sigh and think "not again" and then you get to work to salvage what you can...

    4. @HH

      Yes, we often sigh when we recognize reality.

  2. You want to know how to get teachers back to work....State school is open and if a teacher is not in class then it is a voluntary quit and the paperwork process will be started. You will get the parents behind you.

    Then when the unions go to trial and arbitration show the evidence and demand they show countervailing evidence. Guess who wins.


    1. About now some version of what Reagan did with the air traffic controllers looks pretty good. The arrogance of the teachers and their unions is stunning. They need a good smackdown...

    2. @ Spartacus

      Yes it's a terrific a world where the politicians/school board/county exec isnt bought and paid for by the unions. The pols need teacher votes, donations, and grass roots organizing to stay in office, so no way they will implement your plan.

  3. Regarding the tech jobs going to foreign workers it is because the tech companies can treat them like dirt. H1B visa are tied to the JOB. If you lose the job then you lose the visa.

    Mike Lee of UTAH (R) recently proposed a law to life limit of HIB visa that can be issues. Another blow of the elites against the country class.


  4. If the new jobs in established tech are going to graduates of largely sub-par schools, there must be a pool of talent for help in new competitive start-ups needed as cancellation of speech continues, no?

  5. Mark and Hotlanta –
    Also from Atlanta,… to echo the same sentiment; I’ve actually typed up replies on my draft word doc to post, and then abandoned it because it’s too depressing, same ole ‘the deck is stacked against us, all the institutions have finally been co-opted by the left/Prog (all of them, even the institutions of the corporate world), and no-one is safe….). To this mindset, we are reminded by Mark to the perennial principles, and I believe is which I heard in the strangest of places; a video on the miracles of Our Lady of Good Success; a Christian friend of mine sent it a few days ago, and this was part of her prophetic message from our Blessed Mother – among other prophetic messages received from Her, there was a set of 5 given late in the life of the receiving Nun (Mother Mariana) by Blessed Mary, which is this:
    The fifth reason the lamp went out was due to those who have the financial means to help the Church but do nothing. Because of their uncaring attitude toward God and His Church, they would have allowed evil to seemingly triumph.
    In short, the overall message is that our church would ultimately succumb to the worldly influence and lose its light (or salt, if that rings more true to you) – and this is key, that in the darkest times, THAT is the moment when Mary would assist those faithful Christians in this battle; I quote the 5th reason because everyone on this blog falls into the group of ‘financial means’ people, and query whether we all are serving Him faithfully in this fight.
    Providentially, we listed to the live broadcast last night by the lobbying/Christian group of Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, his subgroup; it’s here - I can’t recommend it enough, for those seeking a Christian means to get involved (many routes out there, so discern, choose and act). My wife and I tuned in last night to this live short discussion about the 'equality act' and the other 'compromise' piece of legislation put out by some republican legislators. These legislative acts would end the freedoms we've enjoyed since our country's inception to practice our faith freely, among other extremely harmful changes to our country and way of life.
    Together, the message that comes loudly, together in time placed before me, is that united as courageous Christians, taking a stand, praying, and voting, we can make a difference - and indeed, I firmly believe we alone hold the only path to saving our country. Only through personal salvation, and understanding and commitment, can we then share and truly answer the call of Jesus to serve.
    I understand this may not fit for some of you – but if not, I ask you to share here why not? Watch the videos first, then come back.
    Back to the point, I get to that same low spot that triggered this note, and it’s up to each of us as sisters and brothers of Jesus in the family of God to encourage, educate and uplift, and sometimes admonish.
    God bless you Mark for this blog – someone said it weeks ago, you are called to this by Him to move this forward.

  6. I am a former city school teacher (now retired).

    I would suggest that the $65,000 seemingly sensational salary should be put into the context of the cost of living in New York City. It may be (I'm not sure) that it is de facto, adjusted for cost of live, a lower wage than the nominally lower wage a non-metro area teacher gets.

    Also, I get so tired of these bash the union teacher commentaries. First of all, the devastation to the real wage and standard of living of the American workers, since Ronald Regan fired the Air Traffic controllers and began the assault on organized union labor, is the direct result of the virtual destruction of union labor.

    While I know first hand the negatives of union labor (before teaching I worked in a GM factory and before that a bricklayer). I have worked both sides of the 'union street' and know the negatives and positives.

    The great tragedy for the American worker is that unions failed to police themselves; developing the positives and mitigating the negatives. And, thereby establish the basis of pro-working class party.

    Secondly, I get tired of the teacher bashing because the bashers have absolutely no idea what the reality of an urban classroom is. They have no idea of the profound cultural deprivation of the urban population and the implications that has for the classroom behavior of the children of that culture.

    The fact of the matter is that the problem of urban education is not education it is urban culture. But, complaining about teachers relieves one of the responsibility to deal with the culture.

    When a suburban teacher assigns homework, the probability that it will get done under parent supervision is very high. The higher the income level of the family, the higher the probability that the homework will get done.

    When an urban teacher assigned home work the probability that it will get done is very low. And the probability that the parent will be engaged with home is next to zero.

    Teachers in New York State (my state) all get the same teacher preparation courses. The curriculum is dictated by the State Education department. All colleges teach that curriculum.

    All teachers in the State take the same certification test created by the State Education Department.

    Virtual (literally?) all teacher are unionizes (perhaps there may be some small rural exceptions I don't know for sure).

    So you tell me ... why is student perforce a perfect correlation with income? There are no differences between the education, certification requirements unionization of urban and suburban teachers.

    Based on my experience, I think unions made a major contribution to their own demise. I saw it in the GM plant, construction and teaching. But, the problem with the underperfomance of urban students is not a union problem.

    For a teacher to effective, it must be assumed that the student comes to the classroom with a modicum of socialization necessary for education to happen. A teacher's job is to teach the 3Rs. The parents job is to create the conditions for the teacher to teach.

    1. Tom ...

      That $65K + excellent benefits is just for starters.

      The "war on union labor" is more complicated than you make out. Unions, by and large, continued to support Dems who supported outsourcing of manufacturing. Yes, GOPers also supported that.

      What we're talking about here is government unions. Having been a government employee all my adult life, I'm unalterably opposed to government employee unions at any level of government. Ever. It's a recipe for corruption and one party rule--which just deepens the corruption.

      The government teachers unions have supported every deviant cultural initiative of the Dems. Those initiatives have simply deepened the cultural crisis in the urban centers.

      And please don't tell me that the teachers didn't support that stuff. I've seen it in Chicago. The union gets overwhelming support from the rank and file. Those teachers deserve every bit of the bashing they get--and more.

      As for the "profound cultural deprivation," that was brought on by the "war on poverty" that the unions all supported. Until that point, the "urban culture" was nothing like it became under the welfare state.

      I'm not anti-union. I often use union workers by preference. But I'm unalterably opposed to any government employee unions.

      I'm also opposed to government control of the schools and education generally. The three Rs can be taught without state or federal certification or supervision.

    2. Look at every single state, like IL especially, that's in financial trouble, and at the heart of it will be government employee unions. They control government and are bought off by government.

    3. Ineffective teachers ARE a union problem. And there are many such teachers in urban centers. They are protected by the unions, and that's why the unions get their support.

      Government employee unions are inherently corrupt.

    4. Nor is this a recent problem. My wife was a student teacher back in the 70s. Neither her supervisor nor the teacher she worked with had any interest in teaching, nor were they terribly competent. That was long before the city schools went down the tubes for good.

  7. Your 3 comments, Mark - so good and so on point. We are being held hostage by the people WE pay to run OUR COUNTRY! How can it be possible that they can't see the damage they are doing to the very fabric of our republic? What kind of moral code does it take to continue to think that you can rip apart a society, and yet still be protected by it? Can a whole class of people be so obtuse that they think they can survive while the rest of us don't? What is their end game? I really wish someone could explain it all to me. Public unions are a curse to any republic. The passage of HR 1 will be the death of our precious country. God help us if that ever passes.