It’s About the Money Stupid!

How many times have you heard politicians or school administrators say, “We’re doing this for the students” or “It’s for the kids!” I think it is time to pull an oldie from James Carville’s bag-o-tricks and say “It’s About the Money Stupid!” I know, it doesn’t have the same ring as Carville’s “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” But hopefully it will become, like his saying, a mantra for teachers who are getting bashed from all sides.

If you hear an administrator or politician say “It’s about the kids”, or “We are doing this to save the students”, you should yell out “It’s about the Money, Stupid!”

You are bound to get a reaction.

Yes it may be a negative reaction if you say it in an insensitive way, but it needs to be said.

And before you ask me “What is the sensitive way to say that?” I will prompt you to think about how politicians and administrators have been blaming us in this battle for control of education.

Are they saying things in a “nice” way?

Aren’t they just saying that teachers suck in a politically correct way?

Here is an example of an exchange between my superintendent and me during a faculty meeting after he chopped all the courses I had spent my career building:

Me: “I want you to know that I take it personally, that I, and no other teachers, were included in any of the discussions that led to the destruction of everything I have stood for and created during the past 26 years”

Supt: “You take it personally because you are a great teacher.  Next question?”

You see, total avoidance of reality and responsibility.  I have watched politicians and administrators do this time and time again. What is an administrator’s role in today’s school environment, anyway? Being a politician, who’s job is to do PR for the school.  Don’t believe me? Watch the next time an administrator makes a choice that a loud parent or a vocal member of the community does not like. For example, read Chancellor Tisch’s response to the Pearson Pineapple Question Controversy. Oh and when you read that, did you catch the $32,000,000 price tag Pearson gets for five years of NY tests? Oh, and that does not come close to the $468,000,000 Texas is paying Pearson for tests from 2010 to 2015.

That is almost a half a BILLION dollars from one state for TESTS – not teaching.

It’s about the money stupid.

And if you don’t believe it’s about the money, take a look at the this story which was investigated, researched and written by a PARENT in New Jersey, who became aggravated when schools in her hometown came under the same attack we all have seen (via Diane Ravitch)

Please think about it a moment, what other reason do businesses and the wealthiest businessmen have for trying to get into the education field. THEY SENSE PROFITS. Even better, they sense a never-ending stream of cash, guaranteed by the US Government – even if they fail! Oh and they reward those who give them these lucrative contracts while they are in office, and when those administrators leave office.

And really it is no-brainer why Bill Gates has become a education philanthropist, isn’t it? Why else would one of the richest men in the world team up with another of the richest men, Rupert Murdoch to form and run an education data company?

It’s about the money stupid.

And why would Bill Gates suddenly become a philanthropist, and donate millions of dollars to education “causes?” such as digital learning and Computer Based Testing(CBT – get used to that acronym, its coming to New York in 2014)

It’s called seed money. If you invest thousands, you hope to make tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands.

What if you invest hundreds of millions? What do you expect to gain from that?

It’s About the Money Stupid!

Now Mr. Gates could be waiting to give all that money back to education that he and his company Microsoft will make from the millions of computers that will be have to be bought, maintained, and turned over every few years.

Maybe he does not realize the amount of money that his partner Rupert Murdoch plans on going after. Mr. Murdoch called K-12 education a  “a $500 billion sector in the US alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed.” This last factoid came from a brilliant article written by Lee Fang and published in the The Nation. Again thanks to Diane Ravitch for sending me to this great piece of investigative journalism. If there is one link you should follow and read here it is this one.

After you read it, you can only come to one conclusion.

It’s About the Money Stupid!

Updated: July 24, 2012 :  Feds charge Philly charter school mogul in massive fraud

Update #2 July 25, 2012:  Murdoch splits his company so that education is the TOP priority of one part


Still don’t think it’s about the money?


4 thoughts on “It’s About the Money Stupid!

  1. Thank you Luann. I am going for a post a week, minimum. I truly believe we need to do something. I want to get people talking – and then doing. But not to the choir. Anyone but the choir

  2. Pingback: Follow the Money « seeingshadesofgray

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