Are Public Schools a Crime Haven?

By WND, Special for  USDR

Alex Newman, coauthor of the newly releases book “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government School to Destroy America’s Children, ” is available to be interviewed on the Atlanta Pubic School scandal. Contact media@wnd.com to schedule an  interview.

Nine Atlanta teachers have been convicted of racketeering and sentenced to long prison terms for inflating grades in a scheme that also included bonuses and other career  enhancements.

But maybe they shouldn’t be the only ones behind bars. The roots of American education’s culture of crime are in Washington, D.C., according to the authors of a new book that charges the American school system with deliberately harming the nation’s  children.

Investigative reporter Alex Newman, co-author with longtime educator Samuel Blumenfeld of “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children,” believes that prosecuting a few teachers and school officials for cheating “doesn’t even scratch the surface of the real problems this nation is facing in its taxpayer-funded education  system.”

Newman says government schools “are quite literally designed to dumb down and indoctrinate  students.”

“This is an infinitely more serious crime than cheating on tests, yet the media, the education establishment, and the politicians that enable it refuse to discuss the matter – almost certainly because they are complicit in these crimes,” he  said.

The American educational system’s reliance on standardized testing has been under increased scrutiny since the revelation that Atlanta public school teachers and administrators engaged in widespread fraud over a period of years to artificially boost test scores. After being convicted earlier this month, 10 educators now have been sentenced for crimes relating to the conspiracy, with nine defendants given prison  time.

They are only part of a larger scandal that involved 44 schools and 180 educators. The former superintendent of Atlanta public schools, Beverly Hall, died before she could be brought to  trial.

See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s  Children.”

However, Newman says efforts to artificially inflate test scores are predictable because of the flawed incentives built into the American educational  system.

“Many well-intentioned apologists for this kind of criminal behavior on the part of school employees have been pointing out that the federally imposed testing regime not only enables this sort of fraud – it practically requires it, at least if teachers and officials hope to escape serious financial consequences,” he  said.

“The ridiculous schemes imposed on government schools by the federal government are destroying education. The unconstitutional federally backed testing regime and standards schemes are a big part of the problem. For example, by establishing counterproductive testing mandates based on terrible education standards, the federal government has played a key role in changing the focus of schools from education to mastery of useless or even destructive dictates from bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.,” he  said.

“None of this excuses the guilty in Atlanta, but there is no question that the federal role in the cheating scandal is huge – and has been largely ignored so  far.”

Teachers in the Atlanta school system who had tried to report the fraud were threatened with punishment, as such whistleblowing could have jeopardized financial rewards for the school district. However, structural incentives for fraud do not excuse the moral culpability of those involved, according to legendary conservative activist and bestselling author Phyllis  Schlafly.

In an interview with WND, Schlafly, author of “Who Killed the American Family?” asserted: “The whole culture is just wrong. This is a huge scandal and a very public scandal, and the worst part is that everybody in the system knew about this scandal with nobody reporting  it.”

The solution, says Schlafly, is for teachers to adopt the honor code mandated by American military  academies.

“This is quite a scandal and very public. Everybody knew about it and nobody reported it. The staff needs to go through the same exercise in the military academies. ‘I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those among us who  do.'”

Newman also believes the cheating scandal is part of a cultural  collapse.

“The crimes committed by these educators and officials certainly deserve to be prosecuted and punished,” she said. “The lessons the students got from this scandal was that it is OK to cheat, that learning has no value provided fake test scores are good, and that morality is a thing of the  past.”

However, Newman also says growing federal control over education, especially through programs like Common Core, practically guarantees that the experience in Atlanta is just the  beginning.

“As schools across America transition toward the Obama administration-backed Common Core standards, the problems with cheating and widespread criminality in government schools will only get worse,” he  said.

For one, even according to the subject-matter experts selected to sit on the Common Core Validation Committee, both of whom refused to sign off on Common Core, the standards are even worse than previous standards. They are confusing students and preventing them from learning properly, the critics  say.

“By setting these counterproductive, confusing, and oftentimes ridiculous standards in stone across the country, and then enforcing compliance via the federally funded testing schemes, the Obama administration is basically ensuring that we will see many more similar scandals going  forward.”

The most important “Whodunit” case ever, in “Who Killed the American  Family?”

Some of the teachers involved in the teaching scandal justified their crimes because they thought students needed their help. One math teacher had allegedly commented that her students were “dumb as  hell.”

But as Newman points out, the structural approach of the American educational system is part of the reason why American students suddenly seem incapable of  learning.

“The education establishment itself is largely to blame for the crisis in education – not just among minority communities, but across the entire population. In our book, we have a whole chapter on how this outrageous ‘education’ system helped create a vast ‘underclass’ in our cities that has little hope of advancement,” he  said.

“If inner-city school children and Americans more broadly are ever going to get a proper education that prepares them for college, career, and the responsibilities of citizenship, the government education system needs reform from top to bottom,” said  Newman.

“To start with, using phonics to teach reading is absolutely crucial. The sight method currently being used has been an utter failure, as the government’s own data show clearly. America went from being the most literate society on the planet to a nation where, according to a 1993 federal survey, a strong majority of adults can barely read. Once reading is being taught correctly, literate students will be educate themselves on real history, civics, science, and more if the government schools continue to push their propaganda and revisionism. It will also promote critical thinking skills – something today’s government education system is working to destroy at all  costs.”

Newman notes while some critics are calling the sentences levied against the mostly black Atlanta public school teachers “racist,” inner city students are actually the biggest victims of the current educational  establishment.

According to Newman, “The racism card is a typical tactic of the self-serving special interests that benefit from this corrupt mis-education  system.”

The good news, says Newman, is that Americans are finding alternatives to the failing government  schools.

“One of the developments I find most fascinating when it comes to these dumbed-down government tests is that, for a tiny fraction of the costs being squandered by the education establishment and the government schools, homeschooled students are able to far surpass their government-schooled peers. Even ‘unschooled’ students who receive little formal instruction actually do better than those in government school,” he  said.

The bad news, Newman observes, is that the very success of homeschoolers and others outside the public school system shows how utterly corrupt and harmful public schools really  are.

“The success of the ‘unschooled’ by itself is a damning indictment of the public school system. More broadly, it shows that even in terms of teaching children the absolute basics – some of what appears on these standardized tests – the government schools are failing miserably,” Newman  said.

“If the schools were using proper teaching methods and genuinely educating students, these standardized tests would be a joke. While writing “Crimes of the Educators,” we took a look at exams being used in middle school a century ago. Today, most college graduates would fail miserably on these tests, despite ever more billions extorted from taxpayers to mis-educate these students,” he  said.

“The cheating scandals simply illustrate the point that we make in “Crimes of the Educators”: Government schools have essentially become criminal enterprises, and they are doing exactly what they were designed to, dumb down America. If our nation, our liberties, and our civilization are going to survive in the long term, urgent action and reforms are  required.”

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.