The Public Education Scam

In his essay The Fine Art of Cheating, written in 1982, Ridgway K. Foley Jr. writes the following:

“Certain subjects reside beyond the bounds of fair comment in this topsy-turvy world: challengers to these unassailable institutions and myths find themselves pilloried by the press and ostracized by polite society for even suggesting that the emperor traverses the highways and byways stark naked. Public education represents one of those sacrosanct subjects above reproach. Nevertheless, at the risk of censure and misunderstanding, allow me to opine that the American public receives, at best, a dime’s worth of education for every dollar spent, that the myriad examples of common cheating portend a much more serious moral ill, and that public education, far from constituting a Heaven-ordained precept, is just plain ineffective, indifferent and wrong. Moreover, attempted reforms (like the voucher system) do nothing more than perpetuate the evil rather than scourge it.

The true victim of academic excess will not be found by the unobservant many; the real injured parties are those honest, upright, producing members of society who involuntarily contribute part of their privately-created property to the plunderers who exact tribute and transfer that wealth into the maw of public education. Certainly the honest student or teacher loses too, but one cannot afford much sympathy for willing participants in misdoings; the seminal harm befalls the simple taxpayer-citizen who funds the transfer payments so that rowdy, lazy and rotund muscle-men live well and receive college degrees for learning how to move chairs in an auditorium.

The depth of the art of cheating in the twentieth-century educational system taxes the fainthearted. Many students receive tuition waivers, book allowances and housing grants (not to mention food stamps) from the state or federal government. Their classmates collect reduced interest or free student loans, most of which are never repaid. Tuition defrays but a slight share of the cost of modern teaching; the remainder emanates from a variety of federal, state and local subsidies. Professors procure a plethora of tax monies by way of research grants, often employed in the most abysmal, wasteful or shocking endeavors. Schools intercept other forms of public funding to facilitate compliance with various entitlement and social policy programs mandated by government. In short, an endless litany of perversions, diversions and boondoggles blemish the once-fair visage of the grand old dame of education.”

Read the entire essay here,


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