11.05.24 - Public School System: Is it Really About the Children?
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Summary: The state of the American public school system raises questions about its benefit to the children it is supposed to serve.

Although the United States is generally recognized as having a free-market, capitalist economy, many services are provided by various levels of government, rather than by the private sector, which means that those services are delivered according to the socialist economic model. The American public school system provides a classic example of how that plays out. The so-called “central planners” determine what is to be taught and how it is to be taught, with virtually no input from consumers (parents and students). In fact, in the rare instances when said consumers attempt to make their preferences known, such as objecting to the use of a certain book in the curriculum, it is not at all uncommon for the teachers, administrators, and school board to “circle the wagons” and repel them.

The socialist model has allowed the public school “central planners” to arbitrarily decide how the measure of success of their system is to be determined. In turn, this has enabled them to manipulate the system, in order to produce results that make them look good. For example, when public school systems were measured by their graduation rates, schools lowered the standards and graduated more students. When the criterion was standardized test scores, schools focused on the subjects covered by the tests and lobbied to have the tests designed in such a way that the students could maximize their scores. When extra funding became available for what is commonly referred to as “special needs” students, public schools began classifying increasing numbers of students as “special needs.” One school district in Philadelphia even classified its gifted and talented program as “special needs.” This allowed it to not only maximize its funding, but also made its measured success level in educating “special needs” students look superior!

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