Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dumb City Or Dumb Officials?

This article came out in today's San Antonio paper. It's shocking but not at all surprising. However, it's not the City of San Antonio that's dumb; it's the officials that run it that are.

How can cities expect to turn out well-educated students when so little money is actually provided for this? School and college board members routinely take the precious tax dollars that are supposed to be used to educate our young people and find creative (and some not-so-creative, i.e. blatant) ways to funnel the funds to their friends instead. Texas Governor Rick Perry first used federal funds provided to Texas for education to instead pay down part of the state's debt. Then when the feds. demanded proof of this money's actually being used for education, Gov. Perry turned it down. Now Texas is facing a serious budget shortfall, which doesn't bode well for education here in the future.

The rampant organized crime in our area has many other adverse effects on the education of our young people. Bullying, gang stalking, and gang violence in our schools are so widespread and unchecked that students are afraid to come to school. Just yesterday, another article in the same newspaper told of rumors of impending violence related to Halloween so serious that scared parents are keeping their children home in droves, even in the Hill Country (Kerrville). Students are instructed to tell teachers, counselors, principals, or law enforcement when they are being subjected to these social ills, but when they do so, either nothing is done because officials fear being subjected to the same kinds of things, or the students discover that the people who are supposed to be helping them are actually active participants!

Teachers here face the same problems as students (if they are not participating, as many are) and fear becoming victims of the same kinds of acts students are being subjected to. How can we possibly expect them to teach properly under these conditions? And how can we expect to retain the best ones?--they quickly move on when they realize they have no support. Shockingly high percentages of the teachers that remain have criminal records and substance abuse problems, nothing is done about it (see my earlier post entitled "The Coach", for example), and our students suffer as a result.

In fact, one-third to one-half of our high school students drop out before graduating. Texas already has a shortage of trained workers. With the problem steadily getting worse, not better, it doesn't matter if we attract all the new jobs Gov. Perry is promising; we won't have the workers to fill them.

Our cities and communities here simply MUST start to realize the toll unchecked organized crime is taking on them and insist on its being prosecuted aggressively from the top down. If people don't start seeing the big picture and understanding how much this stuff is hurting them, our rapid downslide into "Third-Worldness" will continue. It's no accident that San Antonio and Las Vegas sit at the bottom of the education list--this can easily be predicted by their crime situations and statistics.

There's one more thing to consider here, and it may actually turn out to be the most important consideration of all: what if the government is deliberately trying to keep our young people as uneducated as possible in order to keep them from seeing, understanding, questioning, and protesting what their government is doing? If you think that sounds far-fetched, I suggest you carefully read the next post after this one, entitled "Empire Builders".

Update, 1/23/11:

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