Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Volunteers at Community Colleges? Of Course Not, That Would Threaten the Power of California's Educational Administrative Commissariat

I had to share this letter to the editor at the Orange County Register, "No volunteers at community colleges." The author, Richard Callahan, is retired finance executive with over 40 years in the private sector. He's taught business classes at UCLA and other universities, and he's offered his time free of charge to private colleges. But when he approached some of the community colleges to offer his services, he was given a cold shoulder and sent packing. Be sure to read it all. I thought his conclusion was a devastating indictment:
With my apologies to the majority of the public school teachers who are hard working and dedicated, our public education system today is inwardly focused, protectionist, money driven and broken.

The system is run by politicians, unions and administrators whose apparent goal is to extract the maximum amount of funds from the taxpayer. Instead of educating children to function and excel in society, they are molded into a society of underachieving conformists who will give up their liberty and acquiesce to the government’s power and authority while devoting more of their personal resources, particularly financial, to expanding government.
I've recently written a couple of times about my dealing with the crushing bureaucratic totalitarianism at my college. Oh, boy, if only I'd known 15 years ago what I know today, but then again, you live and learn and become wiser. Let's just say that I'm facing a lot of restraints on the job, and these are the kind that are frankly political and ideological in nature --- and the administrative bosses fit perfectly into that power-hungry template outlined by Mr. Callahan above. What's depressing is that all the stuff you hear about driving out the best and the brightest from the public schools is true, or at least in my case, if I decide on the earliest retirement possible because of what's essentially a hostile workplace environment. It's pretty ridiculous. In any case, at some point I'll be able to tell the full story on all of this, but not yet, not just yet.

Meanwhile, heading back over to the O.C. Register, hear's another primer on the corruption of power in the public realm. From the editors, "Bound Up."

PREVIOUSLY: "What Has America Become?"