Congratulations on your graduation from this failed government high school. Now you enter the real world and must confront hard truths beginning with your teachers. They attended a college of education which attracts the poorest students mired in the bottom deciles of their class; nevertheless, they harbor illusions of adequacy. Teachers can’t be fired no matter how inept or dangerous. Some taught you; others are assigned to rubber rooms where they can do no harm. The problem is not just a few bad apples, but too few good apples. Teachers are anti-competitive government workers who oppose pay based on merit or results. They are overpaid for what they produce.
Your unionized teachers bargain for salary and work rules at your expense; that’s why your school day begins at zero dark thirty. Public schools are a jobs program for adults; you are afterthoughts. You were indoctrinated in pro-government, anti-business, politically correct conformity with an entitlement mentality. They scared the bejesus out of you about climate change and the environment with myth and misinformation.
School choice is the civil rights issue of our age; yet, you had no choice where to matriculate, unlike affluent families – none of whose kids attended your school. Your teachers and administrators stood blocking your schoolhouse door to stop you from escaping. Principals and administrators are unaccountable to students, parents or anyone but the government blob – which never has closed a failed school. They are in constant fear that if armed with a free choice, the most potent force on earth, you will escape their government monopoly. Minority students were thrown under the school bus by the NAACP and your elected leaders because they choose to support public sector unions over you – knowing full well the great harm this inflicts on you.
Although your learning was far beneath grade level, your school spent nearly as much per student as the most elite private schools. The education budget is wasted on administrators; barely half ever found its way into your classroom. Your government school with police presence and metal detectors resembled a prison. Sports were more important than education. Your school was a Petri dish for every dysfunction and social pathology. Your graduation is a testament to your perseverance – not to learning. You have been badly defrauded by those you innocently trusted.
You can’t attend college without much remedial work and community college is mostly a chimera. Any honors or awards you may have received are cruel hoaxes. You are not prepared for good jobs; practice asking “Do you want any fries with that burger?” Every tattoo and piercing reduces your lifetime income by $100,000. You can expect a life of quiet desperation with little or no social or economic mobility.
In a final ignominy, you are victims of intergenerational theft; you inherit $600,000 as your share of unfunded future U.S. government liabilities. This does not include your share of unfunded future state liabilities for teacher retirement, health care and benefits which vastly outstrip benefits for comparable private sector jobs. You inherit the equivalent of a mortgage on a million dollar home – only without the home.
There is no way to sugarcoat your predicament. Nonetheless, you are young and there is a narrow path that can led to success – but only for a precious few of you. The first step is to eschew all myth and political correctness, to embrace truth and to see and to understand the world as it is – not how you would like it to be. Understanding the reality of your high school experience as described herein is a good beginning.
Learning must be a lifetime pursuit; never stop. Find something you are good at which isn’t necessarily something you like. Work incredibly hard; save money; and consider starting a business. Above all, make sure your children have educational choices and are not forced, like you, to attend failed government schools.
The next post on June 11th is MLLG’s college commencement address.