Schools, Scams, and Scoundrels

This is wonderful news… maybe the best news of the decade. Finally the truth about college admission scams has been exposed. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Corruption extends from K – 12 through Graduate School.

I have waited since 1942 for this. In 1942 I was five years old living with my parents in Philadelphia. My Father was employed by Bendix Aviation. Every night at the supper table my Dad would talk about how he had been called on to train and instruct the graduate engineers. The engineers were paid much more than my Dad. They had degrees but were sometimes clueless.  My father had to quit school in the second grade to go to work. He is the most brilliant man I have ever known. He became self-educated. He never went to high school. He never received any diplomas. He never had an opportunity to go to college. He never was awarded any degrees.

After the war ended, we moved back to upstate Pennsylvania and my Father re-opened his business. He often received phone calls from the large auto manufacturers in Detroit. When they had a problem that their engineers could not solve, they called my Dad. One evening over the supper table, Dad announced that he was getting a lathe. That way he could make the parts that they didn’t know how to make in Detroit and he would send them to the car companies.

As years passed, I learned that the corruption in the education business was even worse than I had imagined. In 1957, I was in my first year of teaching in a school in New Jersey. I was assigned a sixth grade class. Within the first few days, I noticed that all of my students were making the same mistake when working with fractions. I knew they were not copying from each other. After a few days I went to the fifth grade teacher and asked her opinion. She had a Masters Degree in Education and many years of experience. I was the new, young, fresh teacher – still doubting my own abilities. I showed her the students’ papers. She looked at them, and said they were fine. I then realized that she did not know how to do fractions.  I wondered about how many years students were not taught the correct formula for fractions.

Bennington, Vermont had a major school scandal back in the 1980’s. Ghost classes were being held for teachers who wanted to renew their certification.  That is a common nationwide practice.  You pay your money and you get your credits.  Why bother to attend classes.  Many Education Courses tend to be useless anyway.

For decades, many of us have known that the educational system is largely a scam operation. It exists to perpetuate the social order and economic class system. It is used to support the unethical “Paper Prejudice” which denies employment to some of the most talented workers.  It is an institutionalized prejudice which should be illegal. Now everyone knows what my Father knew way back in 1942.

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. Read other articles by Rosemarie.