On dismantling public education

This is pretty heartbreaking about Philly schools, but I’m sure there are similar cases all over the US:

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The proposed $2.4 billion budget would leave schools with only the barest signs of education: a principal and a core group of teachers. Counselors, sports, secretaries, librarians, music and art teachers, as well as all support safety staff, would be eliminated.

Words fail me.

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People say ‘words fail me’ a lot but I absolutely ccan think of no words or coherent statement to articulate how mind-crushingly STUPID this is.

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This is the new normal, too. More and more we are told that public institutions fail us, are not told the reasons for when they do fail, and are presented with a dizzying array of private options, that only some of us will benefit from… then we are told it’s “progress” and the way things should be. This is the new neo-liberal order, guaranteed to free us as “individuals”, in such a way that only some of us are in a position to take advantage of, coding those who aren’t as “lazy” and unable to cope with the real world, and hence unworthy of attention.

But yeah, words fail me too. This is horrible and I feel for the kids of Philadelphia. They deserve better.


Perhaps the further degradation of public schools feeds a panicked enthusiasm for even more charters or voucher programs. Perhaps total deprofessionalization. Certainly more of it. Perhaps these reformers get so good at starving these public schools that your own city decides to hire them. Perhaps they are already there.

The final words of this article would be even more chilling if I didn’t know this is already happening in my state and others. The writing is on the wall. If we fail to save public schools from the maw now, the U.S. will never fully recover from the damage.


Too many Americans have never made the connection between paying taxes and getting social services, or between paying for social services and having a society worth living in.

Of those, too many have been brainwashed into the belief that if they starve the services of resources long enough, badly enough, they will somehow miraculously improve. Or the demonstrably false belief that businesses are inherently more efficient than government.

I wish I knew how to get through to them.

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My personal preference would be to deport them all to Arizona, force secede Arizona from the union (after making sure the state is free of nukes and such as well as giving good folks a chance to move out), and build as high and deadly a wall around Arizona as they would like to build around Mexico.

That’s just my bitterness talking though. In terms of reasonable ways of convincing them, I haven’t found one yet.

I was just thinking today about contacting a distant cousin I haven’t heard from recently. He moved to Arizona about a year ago, and he has been much less socially active since then. Every other friend or family member who has moved to Arizona has rather quickly become a right-wing extremist, so I’m really worried I’m going to lose this guy to the nonsense as well. They must put something into the water, or force people to watch Faux News 18 hours a day, or something.

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