America loves business.
We worship the free market. Nothing is more infallible, not reason, not morals, not even God.
Money is the true measure of success – the more you have, the better a person you are.
This perverted ideology (otherwise known as Neoliberalism) has taken over much of American life. Where we once cared about our country, justice and fair play, today it has all been reduced to dollars and cents.
Every problem can be answered by business. Every endeavor should be made more business-like. Every interaction should be modeled on the corporate contract, and every individual should try to maximize the outcome in his or her favor. Doing so is not just good for you, personally, but it’s what’s best for everyone involved. And this dogma is preached by the high priests of the market who claim that as they, themselves, get wealthier, one day we too will reap the same rewards – but that day never seems to come.
These principles are articles of faith so deeply ingrained that some folks can’t see past them. They have become the driving force behind our country and much of the world. Meanwhile, most people get ever poorer, our environment gets increasingly polluted and everything is up for sale.
One of the last holdouts against this market-driven nightmare is the public school system.
We still have widespread educational institutions run democratically at public expense dedicated to providing every child with the tools and opportunities to learn.
They’re not perfect. Far from it. But they enshrine one of the last vestiges of the America of our grandparents. Democracy and justice are the system’s core values – not profit, expansion and market share.
However, our schools suffer from disinvestment. Since we’ve segregated the rich from the poor into privileged and impoverished neighborhoods, it’s easy to provide more funding and resources to wealthy children and less to poor ones. That’s the main reason why some schools struggle – they haven’t the resources of the Cadillac institutions.