They never cease to amaze me. I thought my last story on the state of our education system would be my last story on our education system but I can’t let a dead dog lie, especially when that dead dog is resurrected from the dead.
Some of our school systems educators will do ANYHTING to further their own careers and fill their pocketbooks, even to the extent to sell out the very students they are suppose to be looking out for. Here is the just the latest corruption in a Texas School District. A former superintendent of the El Paso Independent School District hatched and implemented a scheme to improve the standardized test scores in his district. The sad part is that he wasn’t doing it by actually improving the scores and he wasn’t alone. There was an actual real conspiracy to help him, which consisted of at least six other members of the district school system.
What they did was downright cruel and heartless. They decided to eliminate the low scoring or low performing students any way they could. They got rid of students. Since tests are given in the 10th grade, they held back some students in 9th grade, who were borderline, in order to give them a chance to perform better a year later. It didn’t matter that they had actually had passing grades. Other students who were very low performers and had little chance of improving within a repeated 9th grade were just gotten rid of. They actually pressured some students to drop out of school and take a GED in another district. They made the bad scores disappear by making the students disappear. Our educators should never pressure anyone to drop out of school… ever!!!
They pin pointed the low scorers prior to the 10th grade testing, by giving pretests in the 9thgrade. That way they could see who could do well on the real tests in the 10th grade. Instead of helping the low performers to do better, they threw them out like they were just so much garbage. They saw them as some trash in their way to a profit, so they threw them out to live on a trash heap with little chance for a better future. That is not educating, that is selectively grooming your class to get a better group of students with higher grades. It reminds me of the Nazi method of creating a superior race just not as violent. They created an “elitest” school system for elite students. Doesn’t that sound like creating a superior race?
There is a little shiny white lining to the story, in his zeal he discovered that some of his low scorers were actually living across the border. He discovered this fact by watching them go home by way of the border crossing. These students had no busy in our school system anyway but that wasn’t his motive because he got rid of any low performing student regardless of their homeland or address. I don’t have proof but I bet those students crossing the border with high scores were not forced out of his district.
You may ask, if that wasn’t his motive then what was? The reason was an age old human weakness, the green eyed monster greed. The conspirators received huge bonuses when their entrusted students achieved higher scores, on their standardized tests. Instead of doing their job and helping their students achieve higher scores they simply got rid of the poor achievers. Its one thing to sweep poor performers under the rug but it is another thing to pick and choose who can and can’t be in your school system. They have actually disposed of the students that they have deemed undesirable just so they could line their pockets.
On another note, the superintendent was convicted of misleading the school board so his lover could get a contract worth $450K with the school board. For his corrupt testing scheme he was fined for the exact amount of his bonuses for improving the tests scores, which was $56,500. He also got 42 months in prison for each fraud offense.
There is another part of this story which isn’t in all the news stories and it is even more disturbing. The scheme was discovered in 2010 but after the investigation The Texas Education Agency basically stated to the public that he was not corrupting the system with his acts and he was innocent of all charges. However that was far from the truth. A local paper filed to get copies of the investigation by the Texas Education Agency and was granted copies of the correspondences between the agency and the school district. When the correspondences were released the school district finally acknowledged the corruption but they never acted on the information but instead buried it. They were covering up the scandal and allowing him to continue as the superintendent. The story hit the newsstands and they had to act because the public demanded it and then Attorney General filed charges.
Here we have an entire school district and a state education oversight agency hiding and almost condoning a corrupt superintendent and his fellow conspirators. This allowed him and his fellow conspirators to get away with stealing undeserved bonus money, selling out the students within their charge and scamming the school board. They let him stay on the job as if nothing was happening, not even a slap on the wrist.
Why would the district allow this to happen and not act on the information when it came to light? The answer to that question is the same reason he did what he did. He was looking out for number one, himself and they were looking out for themselves. After all it would look bad on them if all this came to light and I’m sure they got bonuses for the improved test scores as well. They cared more for themselves than the students that they were entrusted to educate. That is the problem with our education system. Those running the system are not there for the students instead they are there only for themselves. Is it any wonder our students are not getting an education? Is it any wonder that our children are falling on the educated charts when compared with other industrial nations.
You may ask why our school systems and educators no longer care about our students? Actually some do and I can only hope more do than do not. There are still a lot of dedicated educators out there, going not only the extra mile but actually going those extra hundred miles. They believe in the age old concept that there is nothing more precious than a child increasing their knowledge and broadening their horizons. You may call them old fashion but I call them heroes. Many of them are barely getting by and are giving more hours to the students than they do to themselves. Unfortunately there are not enough of those types in the system in positions to make a difference and the ones who do that are rewarded with ridicule and harassment from fellow workers and the unions.
The underlying cause is not the educators but the people they answer to. You may think that they answer to the school districts and the public. If you think that then you have never worked within or with a union. The union is their boss not the school system. Everything they do has to be approved by the union and everything the school system does is overseen by the union. If the union doesn’t approve educators actions then they can lose their jobs. If the school system doesn’t approve an educator’s action then they have to make sure the union disapproves of the action before they can act on the educator. That makes the union their boss not the school system.
How many unions have you heard about that have been innocent and none corrupt? There may be a few but most are not. But regardless of that, the union is a business and all businesses are there to make money not to educate or look out for our students. Even if the union is sincere about its duty to look out for its members, which is what unions were created for in the first place, that leaves the students out in the cold. You will never hear of a teacher’s union fighting for a student’s right for a good education. You will only hear about them fighting for benefits and rights of their teacher members. The unions will even tell you that the students aren’t their responsibility.
That is the problem with our education system. It is creating union minded educators not student minded educators. Teachers unions should be dissolved. Teachers should not have two masters. They should only answer to the school system, the students and the public not the unions.
Besides all that, the unions have outgrown their original intent and are no longer advocates for their members. They have become nothing more than political machines that use their member’s money to push their liberal agendas. The teachers’ unions are no different than any other union and the fate of our students are the last thing on their mind.
How many stories like this do we have to read before we do something? Isn’t it apparent by now that our education system is not only broken but corrupted from within? So I ask you again, are our educators there to educate? Some are but those who are not should be thrown out like the green slimy garbage that they are but that will never happen as long as the unions run our schools.
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