Sunday, February 7, 2016

Poisoning the Well

There was a time when I resisted conspiracy theories-"black helicopters" if you will--as the nonsense of a delusional, paranoid public that has watched far too many movies.

But the recent news out of Flint, along with other nefarious plans to profit off of children, have me thinking the worst.

As details emerge, the state level oversight of Flint has been astounding in its callous disregard for the people, and most especially the children, of Flint, Michigan.  At every level it appears that harm was both acknowledged and covered up.  The cleaner water of Detroit was offered at reduced costs more than once, and the Republican leaders refused the offers.

What were they thinking?  Not about children--or maybe at the least they thought: Who cares about THOSE children?

There is a pattern in this crisis and other presumed "crises" surrounding our children and their well being.

There is another pattern: business is inhumane.  Balance sheets and data which focus only on profits and rising scores create a boot of tyranny on the neck of the American people.

The complaints about the quality of education are a direct result of a policy which distracts from the real reasons our students cannot achieve at the levels of some other countries and foists punishment on the victims of those policies.  

Teachers cannot teach a student out of lead poisoning, or poverty, or a difficult childhood where neighborhoods are in disarray, overworked parents are absent to work numerous low-paying jobs, and reliable, safe food and daycare are unavailable.

There are no miracles.  

But there is science.  And we do know what conditions produce healthy, inquisitive, engaged, inventive brains.  For the past thirty years, public policy has offered us the total opposite of a prescription for healthy development.

We are all Flint: victims of the crime of exploitation and greed on a grand scale.

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