This story was offensive. There's a new State control program called "Race To The Top". As usual, "Race To The Bottom" would be a more accurate name.
In "Race To The Top", the Federal government is giving states money to spend on education. Superficially, this seems beneficial.
The obvious problem is "This is a partial return of stolen property." The Federal government imposes high taxes. Some money is returned to the states. This creates this illusion that the Federal government is beneficial.
A pro-State troll says "Taxation is not theft. What thief builds schools with the stolen money?" Some tax money is spent on useful things, usually with lots of pork and inefficiency. If a thief spends some of his stolen money on good things, that doesn't make him not a thief.
Besides, most public schools are really State brainwashing centers. Under the guise of "education", children are brainwashed to be obedient slaves.
Similarly, CEOs like to brag about how much money they give to charity. Usually, the CEO is donating to a charity he controls. The fact that a CEO spends money on charity, doesn't justify the huge State subsidies he receives.
Via taxation power and spending power, the Federal government usurps state sovereignty. For example, most states are required to have a drinking age of 21 and a speed limit of 65 mph. Otherwise, the states forfeit Federal highway money. If a state doesn't cooperate, they lose Federal highway money but still pay Federal gasoline taxes and other road-supporting taxes.
The education law comes with strings attached. It isn't free money. To qualify, states must adopt Federal curriculum/brainwashing standards. To qualify, states must adopt Federal guidelines for charter schools. To qualify, states are barred from implementing reforms other than those approved by the Federal government.
One of the most subtle evils of schools is the curriculum. By discussing some things but not others, State brainwashing centers create a pro-State troll bias. Here are some examples.
- You study Benjamin Franklin, but not Benjamin Franklin Bache.
- You read Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, but not "The War Prayer".
- You learn about Thomas Jefferson, but not Lysander Spooner or Bastiat.
- You learn about the slavery debate, but not the Morrill Tarriff.
- You learn "The South fired first at Fort Sumter!" Actually, the Northern troops were trespassing, refusing to leave. The South attempted to negotiate peaceful secession. In every war, it seems that the other guys started it. The reality is that there's gradual escalation of hostility, and one incident is cited by the winning side.
- You learn about Abraham Lincoln, but not about how Lincoln arrested newspaper editors who criticized the Civil War.
- You learn about "Preserve the union!" but not "Maybe they should have the right to secede."
- You learn that George Washington decided to not seek a 3rd term, but not "He wouldn't have been relected."
- Students learn to write in a passive voice instead of active voice.
- Students learn that there's nothing they can do, when a State authority figure abuses their power. If a teacher falsely accused me of misconduct, then I had no choice but to accept whatever the punishment was.
- "Divine right of kings" is obviously stupid. "Social contact" is also stupid, but it's a more complicated and believable lie. State brainwashing centers teach "social contract" and not the "Non-Aggression Principle". "Social contract" is believable, because it sort of sounds like the Non-Aggression principle.
Another important issue is "charter schools". This is a fake reform. Real reform, like "school vouchers", are usually successful but then shot down by bureaucrats protecting their turf, especially the public school teachers' union.
In "school vouchers", parents get a check that they can take to *ANY* State-licensed school. If the public school budget is $11k/student, then a $7k/student voucher saves $4k. With a class size of 20, $70k*20=$140k, enough for a decent teacher salary plus overhead.
"School vouchers" are too much like a free market, offending State insiders. Public teachers' unions lobby against school vouchers. School vouchers were tried and successful, but quashed by State bureaucrats.
Compared to vouchers, "charter schools" are fake reform. You need a State permit to operate a charter school, restricting access to insiders. There's only a handful of charter schools, each explicitly licensed by State insiders. Charter school teachers are still State employees, so they're members of the teachers' union. Parents must beg a State bureaucrat, to place their child in a charter school. With charter schools, the State bureaucrats are still 100% in control, while providing the illusion of reform.
State brainwashing centers are funded via taxes. This penalizes parents who homeschool. You have to pay school taxes plus the cost of homeschooling. Laws and regulations make it hard/illegal for homeschooling parents to share resources. For example, parents can't take turns watching the children, due to laws restricting daycare centers or schools. It's illegal to operate a homeschooling business out of your home.
There was another amusing bit of the "Race To The Top" payout.
New Jersey fell just shy of Ohio (the last state to win funding) because of a simple mistake in the application, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger: Applicants were asked for information comparing the 2008 and 2009 budgets, but Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration instead submitted information comparing this year's with 2011.New Jersey just missed qualifying, based on a technicality! They were supposed to supply 2008-2009 budget data, but instead gave 2010-2011 budget data. Instead of saying "Hey! This is wrong! Fix it!", New Jersey was penalized. That's definitely State bureaucrat and schoolteacher thinking. Arbitrarily penalize someone based on a technical error. In my wage slave job, if I misunderstand requirements, by boss has me redo it, instead of penalizing me and saying "FSK is unqualified!"
There was another amusing bit about the application scoring. A state got bonus points if the teachers' union formally endorsed the application, which seems ridiculous.
The "Race To The Top" school spending program is an excellent example of Federal government abuse of power. Via control of money, the Federal government forces individual states to obey. Education should be none of the government's business.
If you're a State insider, it's a high priority to brainwash the next generation of slaves. Via taxes, parents pay for the cost of brainwashing their own children. State control of school curriculum is a very subtle form of pro-State brainwashing. Even private schools must obey State standards.