When op-eds go horribly wrong

Campbell professor goes off on a poorly-researched tangent:

Governments own and run most of our schools and therefore do not operate in competitive environments similar to those that brought us, among many other things, vast improvements in technology and telecommunications, higher quality foods at lower prices, bigger and cheaper HDTVs, and ever-cheaper means of transportation.

We run our schools much like the socialist-run factories of the last century: a top-down command and control system with a one-size-fits-all mentality.

Like most free-market fundies, Steckbeck feels the need to serve his tripe with a dash of fear-inducing "Socialism!" Maybe hoping to hide the fact he's just peddling an opinion, and not something that stands up under close scrutiny. HDTV was invented by Korean Woo Paik (product of public schools), and developed/introduced by Japan's public television network. And then a consortium of US-based electronics companies pooled their resources and developed standards which would (among other things) allow them to monopolize the technology and keep pesky entrepreneurs from joining the fun. I'm not through with him yet:

A truly competitive system encourages schools to innovate as they compete for tuition dollars. Entrepreneurs then have the incentive to continuously discover new ways of targeting diverse talents and meeting the disparate and ever-changing needs of each individual. There is greater incentive to bring about a more creative environment that encourages imagination, problem solving and creative thinking. Otherwise, they go out of business.

I'm beginning to see where the slow trickle of Libertarians are coming from. Apparently every economics department feels the need to have a Hayek-smoking, invisible-hand-jerking fantasist on staff. The reality of the private "entrepreneur"-run school is a constant flogging of the profit margin until said entrepreneur realizes there's not much money to be made in education. And it usually starts with the incredibly flawed belief that teacher qualifications don't really matter, so you can hire somebody with a BA for $13 per hour and get the same results as if you're employing one with a graduate degree. Sure, there are the exceptions. But every attempt to replicate their process fails, because the success was due more to demographics than "creative thinking," but free-market analysts miss that because they're looking for the magic wand instead.



I love how this clown starts

I love how this clown starts off noting the irony of people with no public school classroom experience talking about how to improve public schools. Then he proceeds to do just that.

What a jerk off.

It would make me ashamed

of my alma mater, but I went through that years ago and came to grips with it.

Campbell has quite a collection of, um, "interesting" people lecturing from their podiums...

Well you might be surprised

Well you might be surprised that there are a number of progressives on the Campbell staff. I know I was shocked, but teaching in the school district that includes Buies Creek, I've taught a number of their children, and they are there. It isn't a one dimensional facility believe it or not! They seem to be tolerant of those that don't walk the conservative line.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Not surprising

Most of my professors at the Ft. Bragg campus were fantastic. I'd say about half were from the Fayetteville area, but the rest were transfers from the main campus, and only a couple of those were stiff-shirts.

What a jerk off, right?

He must have considered only right-wing sources like NPR to disparage our "government-run" school system, right?

And like this right-wing nutcase who also disparages government and all the great things it does, even in foreign countries.

Many, both poor and relatively well off, have also been let down by the state: government schools have failed, hospitals are neglectful, rubbish isn’t collected and water isn’t clean. But it’s not as simple as my previously held view that corporate influence and bribery are what undermines the state’s ability to govern. The complex culture and social systems have contributed to a sometimes failing state, whereas the private sector, in other cases, has brought efficiencies and better service.

I don't know why people even listen to these morans given the intellectual superiority of our progressive leaders at solving all the world's problems (albeit, mostly through force and fear).

One day I hope to sit on top of the world and control everyone else because I know what's best for everyone.

Vast improvements in technology and communications....

Those were largely the result of research by the US military and NASA. As a destroyer navigator in the late 1970s, I used what is now commercial GPS in addition to other navigation techniques, including the traditional "day's work in navigation" using the sextant, nautical almanac, and sight reduction tables. The military developed multiplex communication techniques upon which cellphone technology is based.

The professor, like many on the far right, would have us go back to a time that never existed.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Let's go back ...

Sure, let's go back to the days when public education was left to the private sector.

Ah, the good old days of the 18th and 19th century when you were lucky to be able to write your name and kids were sent out to the fields and factories to work and make themselves useful. Unless, of course, you could afford to have your kid a tutor or put them in a private school.

Nothing like the free market!