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Students as Teachers’ Levers of Corruption
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Students as Teachers’ Levers of Corruption

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OHIO – March 30, 2019

We live an era when capitalism has penetrated almost all spheres of life, from raising children to politics, with falsehood, private property, and the lack of a healthy economy as a consequence. The education system around the world is a huge scam where only private structures can live at the expense of feeders-children and their feeders-parents.

We’ve already written about how students are taught to be in debt to the state from a young age. An ordinary student can barely get an education without a loan, and thus fraudulent schemes arise to carry this burden until the end of the student's life. Despite the many promises from politicians, loans grow, and the number of students receiving a decent education sharply decline. So what's the reason? Why can't a student get a decent education for so much money and debt?

In October 2014, less than two months after entering North Augusta High School in Aiken County, South Carolina, Logan Rewis paused to drink from a fountain in the hallway between periods. As he straightened up, water fell from his mouth onto the shoe of his social studies teacher, Matt Branon, who was standing nearby. Logan says it was an accident, but Branon thought Logan had spat at him.

The student's fate was sealed. Immediately after a short investigation, he was sent to a so-called alternative school, the Center for Innovative Learning at Pinecrest.

Alternative schools, or so-called free schools in Western Europe and the United States, are part-time and full-time secondary schools that run parallel to or in place of regular schools and provide education that is alternative in content or forms and methods of working with students.

Another important aspect of alternative learning is the choice that students do not have. Of 39 state education departments that responded to a ProPublica survey last year, 29, or about three-quarters, said school districts could transfer students involuntarily to alternative programs for disciplinary reasons.

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An investigation also showed that in states like Florida, students who are failing academically have been pushed to transfer to alternative schools as a way to trick the state’s accountability system. Pennsylvania law lets school officials relegate students to the Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth program for showing “disregard for school authority.” In Aiken, about 40 percent of transfers in 2014-2015, the year Logan was reassigned, were for lesser offenses, including 13 for using profanity, 27 for truancy, 28 for not following an adult’s instructions, and 18 for showing disrespect.

The well-known AASA, the School Superintendents Association — which has at times fiercely defended local administrators’ discretion in handling disruptive students — said in this regard that alternative schools should not typically be used as a disciplinary placement for non-serious offenses.

Every year, students also complain that alternative education does not give the right to choose, and that they are forced to switch to this form of education because of a one-time mistake. But another question is, why should students have the right to choose until they get an education? The state performs the role of the institute that trains children, even choosing where he goes.

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At the same time, the newly-made student wants the choice to be accompanied from the beginning of training to its logical conclusion. The current generation believes that the state, parents, schools and institutions owe them. In reality, this is the problem of the generation itself, which was destroyed by a long-built system. People are being destroyed by new values and opportunities; people are being destroyed by the system.

Back to the Logan case, the forced placements have persisted even though the Obama administration told schools in 2014 that they should suspend, expel, or transfer students to alternative schools only as a last resort — and warned them that they risked a federal civil rights investigation if their disciplinary actions reflected discrimination based on race. Federal data shows that black and Hispanic students are often punished more than white students for similar violations. Here we can return to the eternal theme of oppression of blacks who allegedly do not commit crimes. But we've talked about that before.

In addition, ProPublica says that many students do not want to see children with disabilities or an unstable mentality. Their problems are solved quite quickly. School administrators “hang these children out to dry,” says Logan’s mother, Lisa Woodward. “They don’t want anything else to do with them.”

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Under the current Trump administration, the process is being pressed to view such removals more favorably. In November, a group of teachers and conservative education advocates met with aides to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to express concerns about the 2014 guidance. The group said the Obama-era approach made schools less safe, allowing disruptive students to hijack classrooms.

This caused fear among civil rights advocates that the current powers will rescind the guidance, prompting schools to increase the number of children excluded from regular classrooms. “We’re deeply concerned this administration is not committed to protecting the civil rights of students,” says Elizabeth Olsson, senior policy associate for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She cited reports that DeVos may refuse a rule aimed at preventing schools from unnecessarily placing minority students in special education.

Thus, according to official sources and also the words of the educational institutions’ authorities, the rate of such students’ transfers to alternative schools has decreased dramatically, but everyone also unanimously believes that the Logan case is the most acute when a student splashes saliva on a teacher.

“He denies it but he spit a huge amount of water on this teacher,” said Aiken County Schools attorney William Burkhalter Jr., who didn’t witness the incident himself. “His shoes pant legs, whatever. It was gross.” (During a disciplinary hearing, a district official described the incident by saying: “The student spit water on a teacher's shoe as he left the water fountain.”)

The costs of zero tolerance policies in schools have preserved this to not only limit freedom of choice but also to preserve at least a small part of the general norms of behavior set by society. For some reason, many American media outlets that support students in this regard, indiscriminately accuse teachers and the government of failing to find humane ways or accepting the students’ behavior. This is not fake news that ProPublica publishes, it’s about changing values around the world, about the full implementation of the capitalist machine that allows people to live as they want, without laws and restrictions.

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Moreover, from here there are other ways to influence human minds, with universities posing their own schemes where they will be higher than the general system, through fraud, corruption, lack of decent education, lack of personnel, and more.

In turn, it cannot be ruled out that the public and parents themselves encourage schools to find ways to send their children to alternative schools for so-called re-education. The problem is that most students stay there until they graduate and are already marked as unfit for behavior. This method of education can once again talk about the lack of desire of parents to engage in the education of their children from a young age. This lack of accountability is also one of the foundations of capitalism, where much is decided not by people but by private capital.

To continue we have to dream up. Imagine the same hero Logan who was transferred to an alternative school. His education has become controlled by teachers and relevant school authorities, his associates leave much to be desired because according to the above such schools include young drug addicts, bullies, and laggards. According to various researches, children i become similar to their peers in this regard and nothing good awaits them. Then the schools decide to expel them.

As a result, broken lives await them. To prevent this, some families decide to transfer the child to private or so-called for-profit schools with a different approach to learning. However, here you may face another still more serious problem of an internal nature.

In the 2017-2018 school year, Ohio’s cash-strapped education department paid Capital High $1.4 million in taxpayer money to teach students on the verge of dropping out. But that year, in May, students’ workstations in the storefront charter school run by for-profit Edison Learning resembled place settings for a dinner party where most guests never arrived.

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As the later investigation had shown, the classrooms were empty for several months, some had even turned all the lights off. As it turns out, only three out of more than 170 students in the Capital High’s lists attended class the necessary five hours a day. Almost two-thirds of the students never showed up, the rest left early. Almost a third of the list did not attend classes all week.

Most interestingly, according to Capital High’s records from late March to late May, six students skipped 22 or more days straight with no excused absences. Two were gone the entire 38-day period. Under state rules, Capital should have unenrolled them after 21 consecutive unexcused absences.

It turns out the school, which is financed by taxpayers on the per-student basis, also continued to receive income and state support, indicating in reports that 171 students had attended every class.

It is almost impossible to trace this pattern because these schools have more than 170 or 200 members, not like regular schools, and they remain state independent, and reports are provided without supervisory authorities and cannot be verified.

Such schools aggressively recruit as many students as possible, and sometimes count them even after they stop appearing, a practice that can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of income paid by taxpayers for empty desks. Auditors accused commercial schools of reinstating dropouts in Ohio, Illinois, and Florida and of improperly collecting public money for disappeared students. State officials in Ohio twice rebuked the capital in the testimony of inflated enrollment numbers.

The investigation did not lead to the result. According to the school’s program director, Monica Scott, defended her school’s efforts to combat truancy, saying during a tour of the school that its “lockstep protocols for absences” include calls, visits and letters to parents. She said she urges students, who often have difficult home lives, to come to class. “I’m telling them you have to get your instructional hours,” she said.

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For those who arrive but head for the door shortly after, she added: “I do try to stop them.”

As for the general value, across the nation, roughly 6 percent of young people ages 16 to 24 are considered dropouts because they neither attend high school nor hold a diploma. Many more teeter on the brink of leaving. Their challenges include homelessness, domestic violence, bullying and learning disorders.

Then so-called “dropout recovery” schools are increasingly popular where students can drop in if they actually wish to study. They’re usually in poverty-stricken city neighborhoods. In Chicago this past year, about 8,000 students attended such schools. In Ohio in the 2014-2015 school year, more than 16,000 students did, including some who attended online-only programs.

Commercial companies took this niche quickly as soon as it appeared. Now such schools require no less investment of money, and they have achieved this immediately from the state authorities in addition to the main private investment. These are schools with affordable education and a complete lack of oversight.

Edison Learning and other for-profits sometimes sign contracts with local school districts to manage these schools restoring dropout rates, an investigation revealed. Isn't that a fraudulent scheme? In simpler terms, schools expel their students to intentionally send them to so-called “dropout recovery” schools that already have lucrative contracts with each other. Further, what is most interesting, no one cares about the quality of education. Students are not involved in monetary contracts, they are automatically included in the laggard group and their approximate fate is decided by large corporations.

However, in Ohio and some other states, companies often used them as charter schools, which are state-funded but run independently. Across the country, as of 2014, only 5 percent of all students attended charters, while 17 percent of students enrolled in alternative schools.

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Moreover, the process is that the call center specialists call the school to identify and send a few students who are slow learners or vice versa with a difficult character, bullies or such as Logan, who accidentally splash water on a teacher. To attract students, schools use gifts, bonuses, and financial inducements that are negligible. For example, a student may receive a $25 gift card each time he or she first comes to school.

Such incentives are rampant among for-profit operators of public alternative high schools like North Nicholas, which serves students at risk of dropping out. These schools market aggressively to attract new students, especially during weeks when the state is tallying enrollment for funding purposes. They often turn their students into promoters, dangling rewards for plugs on social media, student referrals or online reviews, a ProPublica-USA Today investigation found. Some also offer valuable perks simply for enrolling.

Edison Learning and its competitors say their curriculum and instruction are well-designed to help borderline students earn diplomas and avoid the devastating consequences associated with quitting high schools, such as lifelong unemployment and underemployment. Even detractors acknowledge that rescuing dropouts is difficult to work, and a high rate of failure is likely.

As previously mentioned, these schools accept students who are low-achieving or have a difficult nature. Therefore, it is safe to say that such loud statements are only a cover to attract attention.

In conclusion, it is worth adding another important aspect that schools are guided by. As aforesaid, students are promised profits and cash bonuses for admission as well as for some academic performance. By the way, the latter is necessary to stimulate students.

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While it’s legal for schools to provide gift cards for referrals, or free electronic devices such as tablets or computers to newcomers, and students are free to express their opinions on their schools, advertisements have less protection under the First Amendment, and some for-profit school promotions involving online posts or reviews may violate federal consumer safeguards.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, companies that use students and other groups as social media marketers should instruct them to disclose publicly that they expect to be paid. In settlements with the FTC, companies that failed to encourage such disclosures have agreed to follow the law — or face a potential penalty of up to $40,000 per transgression. Those instances did not involve students.

Even a series of seemingly small awards should be acknowledged to help viewers assess the credibility of an online endorsement, said Mary Engle, FTC associate director for advertising practices. “Our advice is to err on the side of disclosure,” she said.

More companies are using “micro influencers” like students for marketing, because they are inexpensive and effective at targeting consumer groups, said Bonnie Patten, executive director of the nonprofit watchdog Truth in Advertising.

“Basically, the law says if it’s an ad, consumers need to be able to clearly and conspicuously see it’s an ad,” she said. “For a group of unsophisticated teenage kids, the onus is definitely on the company to require them to disclose this material connection.”

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During its “Share the Love Facebook Contest” in February, North Nicholas offered raffle prizes such as the bear Elkins won, a $50 gift card grand prize, $25 gift cards, flowers and chocolates. To enter, students needed only to “Like, Comment AND Share” a post from the charter school’s Facebook page. Charter schools are publicly funded, but independently run.

“Remember to share a post every day for more chances to win!” the school urged. It didn’t say on the post, or tell Elkins separately, that students should disclose that they hoped to be rewarded.

Now imagine a student is invited to write a couple of comments or put ten likes and then receives a nice gift from the school, which in turn receives funding from the state which conducts constant monitoring of the school’s quality. Authorities reveal that students like the school according to their Facebook comments, and encourages the school with good money.

A small part of this goes to buy a tablet or a discount coupon. Although speaking frankly, regarding expensive equipment, most often the state itself gives the school the declared amount of necessary equipment. One hundredth gets into the hands of the most distinguished students for nice comments.

Such student slave marketing as it has appeared has been used for a long time. The use of youth images to attract customers was invented in the United States in the late nineteenth century. A shop owner would hang pictures of his little daughter on the walls of his shop, enjoying some candy. Customers flocked and profits grew. Advertisers were happy to use children’s photos, though eventually foreign companies felt that it’s not always proper to use images of children.

Now we see again how young people are used in advertising for schools, universities or everyday goods. The difference is that if a student can get a few bucks for a promotional video, school students receive a gift certificate and the opportunity to not be expelled.

Such manifestations of violations in the education system not only systematically force students to abandon their studies but also massively generate people to leave the country in search of a better life. This is not only happening in the US, but the general crisis of education as part of the capitalist system is also leading to the complete exhaustion of people in favor of the elites who have long had a plan as their children become followers over the fools among the common population. Most don't see it, guided by hopes for a bright future.

Author: USA Really