The teachers and professors of America have gone from an underpaid lot to one of the most powerful lobbying forces in America. They have a stranglehold on our educational system from kindergarten through post-graduate degrees creating the Education Cartel. Of the many important challenges a President Trump would face -- ISIS, rebuilding our economy and our healthcare system -- none is more important than taking back control of our education system from these elitists and reorganizing it to serve the customers (students) and their parents.
The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are a major element of the Democratic Party and key supporters of Ms. Clinton. The NEA endorsed her in October of 2015. In the past two presidential elections they averaged $24 million in expenditures, and that does not include the in-kind contributions of turning their offices into Clinton campaign headquarters. The AFT has an entire section on their website for Clinton.
The reason these organizations are so supportive of Clinton is she will maintain the status quo. That is that the estimated four million members of these two organizations are more important than the customers they serve. Their unions collect forced dues and spend that to elect city council members, school board members, state legislators and members of Congress to protect inflated compensation and benefits. Yes, it is a myth that teachers are underpaid compared to other professions.
The policies put in place have lowered the education results of American students to depressing levels. You have all seen the international surveys. The school systems in major cities would be considered racist if not run by Democrats. Their focus is serving the adults instead of the students, destroying the futures of millions of young Americans.
Take for example that 75% of Germany’s population has taken part in their vocational training system. Canada rewards students at the high school level for their results in vocational training. America has a non-existent vocational system that leaves the 75% of Americans without bachelor degrees no path to a fruitful career. There is zero emphasis on changing this because it is not a priority of the Education Cartel.
The Education Cartel has a stranglehold on the schools of America. This forces parents to either relocate, send their children to religious schools of faiths they don’t observe to obtain an education, or pray they win a lottery for a charter school that the Education Cartel fights with the force of the Allied forces against the Nazis.
The Education Cartel does not stop when students graduate from high school (if they do graduate). The upper division of the Cartel kicks in once a student decides to further his or her education attempting to obtain a college degree which for many will provide an expensive certificate on the path to bankruptcy.
A college education is fast becoming the opposite of the road to a better future. The reason is the immense cost of college education that has caused recent students to rack up over $1 trillion of debt.
That would make sense if the students graduated with worthy degrees instead of many times students getting degrees aimed at becoming a bartender. This is why our tech companies fight each year to obtain H-1B visas to bring in foreigners to fill jobs. This is why our politicians fight to attach permanent work visas to foreign students graduating with STEM degrees. Where are the Americans?
When my son was starting college, we looked at him getting a degree in Sports Administration. He had a position working for the athletic director at the University of Kansas. That is when we found out there were 195 college programs offering degrees in this major. The athletic director suggested my son get a business degree if he wanted to work for him. That is when I came to the conclusion that closest the vast majority of students graduating with degrees in this major will come to sports administration is working at a Foot Locker. These students are being deceived and robbed of their futures.
But the college division of the Education Cartel doesn’t feel it is enough that they drive the college students of America into debt while they try to earn largely useless degrees. The Cartel has to crush the for-profit college competition.
Recently the Obama Administration destroyed ITT which had 130 campuses in 38 states serving 40,000 students. Schools like ITT don’t serve high school valedictorians, but they do serve many students seeking a future career. Some students just don’t make it. These schools are not Cal Tech.
ITT was forced out of business despite performing better than the community colleges in the areas they served -- many with graduation rates 25% higher. Community colleges serve a fine purpose and I personally am a proud graduate of one, but ITT was out performing them and better at preparing locals students for their future.
And why was this done? Just like the Education Cartel does not want charter schools, they want to destroy the for-profit colleges. They want no competition so they can continue their underperforming monopoly while they line their own pockets and increase the flow of money to themselves unabated and unquestioned.
Trump has stated he will “provide school choice to every disadvantaged student in America.” That is a beginning. The amazing thing is that the people who defend the current system call him a racist while they defend the system they created. He will have the power to influence the current K-12 system as the federal government provides $50 billion. Maybe he can focus them on educating students instead of discussing lavatories.
He has spoken about the soaring cost of colleges. Previously this columnist wrote about a U.S. Senate hearing that addressed costs at for-profit colleges. Maybe there will now be serious hearings about the 500% increase of “non-profit” college costs since 1985. After all, President Obama has been writing off college loans, in effect, underwriting these “non-profit” institutions where the staff works light schedules and presidents make $2 million.
Ms. Clinton has made clear she is beholden to the Education Cartel and will do little to change things as she basks in their adoration. Trump is our hope for a change of path from that which wastes billions and more importantly destroys the future of millions of American children.
It is time the Education Cartel is brought to its knees.