George Carlin Understood Why LAUSD Does Not Educate

george carlinWhile the ongoing corruption, incompetence, and programmed failure of the Los Angeles Unified School District as an educational institution is bad enough, when one measures the continuing abysmal results that this purposefully failed system has had with those unlucky enough to have no alternative for their education, what is far worse are the archaic values it promotes that continue to be touted and unquestioningly accepted by the majority of our society, who themselves are a product of this public education system where critical thinking is not abided.

This weekend, while the extreme shortage of teachers that was projected only three years ago, based on the imminent retirement of 50% of baby boomer teachers over the next few years, seems to have been forgotten, when United Teachers Los Angeles unquestioningly agreed to 4 furlough days in lieu of the initial 12 that LAUSD had put out there to scare the memory challenged and spineless leadership of UTLA. UTLA folded because those running the union and the district have succeeded in selling teachers and others on the idea that there is little if any value in what teachers do and that anybody could do it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In asking where this view comes from, one only had to look at the Sunday, May 29, 2011 business section of the Los Angeles Times to see how the value of a supposed professional teacher at the top of the salary scale- before furlough days- did alongside of California’s Top 100 CEOs. All of whom, with the exception of Apple’s Steve Jobs, who received no compensation, and Google’s Eric E. Schmidt, who received only $300,000 for a partial year, received compensation in the millions with increases over the previous years of as much as 217%. Occidental Petroleum’s Ray R. Irani received a total pay package of $76.3 million dollars for the year. It is reassuring to know that the bad economy is not keeping everybody down.

This means that when one compares a teacher at the top of the salary scale, who is making a basic salary of $78,000 a year, with Mr. Irani of Occidental Petroleum, one discovers that Mr. Irani is worth 975.64 times what a teacher makes. Does anybody really believe that those running major corporations in California are worth that much more by any measure?

Several other questions come to mind: Is there any job on the face of the earth that is worth 975 time more than what another hard working human being is doing, no matter what it is, and, if so, by what metric? How much is enough and at what point does making more money at the expense of the other human beings that occupy this globe actually become an exercise in futility and of diminishing return, where the capital necessary to sustain a decent quality of life for all human beings is so compromised by some people being pigs that all human existence is threatened.

The mistake that our species has made going back at least 4641 years to the building of the first pyramids in Egypt, where extreme wealth was used to try and avoid dealing with human mortality. It seems that the majority of us would rather equate a successful life with how much money a person made than by asking how much is enough to live well in the fleeting moment we spent in what could be paradise, if we only comported ourselves differently. But that is something that we would have to learn in school by observing better models than the ones that have been allowed to run this critical function of our society.

Instead, there is a belief that seems to be accepted by the majority of this society that making more money means that you are doing better. As if past Superintendent Ramon Cortines wasn’t making enough money at $250,000 a year plus a very generous benefits package, the new Superintendent John Deasy now makes $275,000, while also receiving a very nice benefits package far beyond what any teacher makes. Alas, poor Superintendent Deasy only makes 3 1/2 times what a teacher at the top of the LAUSD salary scale makes.

Why is that and what is it based on? It’s not as if LAUSD under any of the last superintendents has succeed in turning around the continuing failure of LAUSD’s ability to educate all students. Do you think that if LAUSD decided to give me back my job as a teacher and promote me to the superintendent’s position that I could do any worse of a job for $78,000 than these highly paid vacuous platitude mouthing suits? This archaic value of paying an obscene amount of money in a social and economic reality where everyone else has to take less can only take place as the end product of fundamentally compromised educational system that only teaches blind obedience instead for rationale thought.

leonard isenbergIn the video, the late George Carlin puts it rather succinctly when he says, “They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking.” Better to sell the false belief that intelligence is genetic to cover for destroying the innate intelligence of so many poor people in this country with the worst educational deprivation being reserved for Blacks and Latinos.

Leonard Isenberg


  1. Edblanquel says

    It is absolutely laughable that you want to compare  your average run of the mill teacher with a a corporate CEO. Teachers get the respect they get becuause that is the respect they have earned. Please show me the bull shit degree the teacher got and compare it to the degree and the amount of competence, skill, and knowledge it takes to run a major corporation. Im not saying that there should not be more equity in what people make in general compare to those that are skilled enough to run a company, but if you keep on trying to compare teachers, which I am one of them, to people with degrees in finance,accounting, engineering, medicine ,things that actually take massive amount of academic talents to perform you will always be a joke. And as for a change in values that you want…… good luck. We have these values becuase this what we want. We want to live in a socially stratified society where we are not equal. I don’t want to be equal to you. I want to be above you, and the price we pay for this is that I will also have people above me. The only people that ever call for these type of sociatal changes are those at the bottom, but not us in the middle. I have my chance for  upward mobility, becuase I can make my way up the ladder through education and help from my social network. Believe me if  you were in the same  situation or anyone living in the ghetto with no  way for upward mobility, you would think the same way too. The only people that speak like this are are  societies losers, I mean those at the way bottom. And as for teachers that think the same, I ve met them at work. They are some of the most financially irresponsible, uncreative, dependent , dysfunctional people I have ever met. People with teaching degrees  I met in college were the at bottom of the academic pole. So I am a teacher and I wouldnt give these people another dime until they can prove they have merrited.
    As John Maxwell said ” being busy is not the same thing as being smart and productive”.

  2. JohnJay says

    It seems foolish to me to obsess over CEO pay. Yes, some are spectacularly overcompensated, BUT so are some entertainers, athletes, and comedians… CEO pay is not what’s broken, and if it is, the problem lies in the boards of the companies who offer such generous pay packages.
    The article does touch on a huge problem, a public education system that is seemingly adrift and off course. It seems to me that the issue with pub Ed is a lack of effective leadership. In this vacuum, the focus has shifted to compensation and retirement benefits, instead of excellence and results.
    Maybe the REAL problem is not that some corporate leader makes 900 times as much as a teacher, Rather that the school system is missing out on this leadership!

  3. hwood007 says

    A side note, the county I wrote about pays less to educate a child than it pays to keep one in jail. They are using the 8th grade drop out rate to indicate how many new jail cells will be needed in three years. If a student can not make it in a school system how about teaching a trade such as auto skills, home building, and plumbing instead? I want everyong earning money and paying some tax even if it is only a small amount. If I pay $500 in tax a year, then I am not a total ward of the state and I am helping those who are in need.

    I recomend the short story of the compassionate squirrels by Kenneth Kuhn, down load it from the net.

    • says

      As a product of LAUSD education from 1952-1964, in addition to learning all the requirements for college admission, I also learned the skills to be an automotive mechanic, printer, metal worker, wood worker, and many other trades that gave me the ability to pay for college with skills that pay more than the minimum wage. In addition to my teacher’s social studies credential, I also have an industrial arts credential that would allow me to train students how to be welders, a profession with a starting salary of $40,000 a year, where there is still a critical shortage.

      But alas, LAUSD continues mouthing the canard that everybody is going to college in a purposefully failed school system that sees over 50% of its students quit school between the 9th and 12th grade, while LAUSD continues to close down the shop program.

      Incarceration of in the juvenile justice system cost $73,000 a year. One would think that we could educate students to be productive members of society and taxpayers for far less, if those running public education had any incentive to do so.

      • hwood007 says

        You hit the nail on the head, as I see it, too many school systems are run by the union for the union and not for the children. My grand-father taught a skill to yound boys that made them tax payers. That school no longer operates.

  4. hwood007 says

    I also agree with the points made. New York city has teachers that are under review and not allowed to teach until the review is finished, setting in a room doing nothing and drawing full pay.

    I also own stocks in 30 companies and not longer write long or short notes to management about the pay of such high paid CEOs. I am a real rat, I think the company profits belong to me and they are instead giving my money to a CE O that is not making the company grow.

    I would like fair pay for fair work, but that does not seem possible anymore. Too many people, at all levels of wealth, think they are entitled to certain benefits. Hey, so do I. I am a retired war vet, having served in Vietnam, Korea, and behind the Iron curtain, and I feel entitled also. A local county has just hired a third new leader for the county school system where kids are not learning basic skills and I wish him luck. I still think it is the parents…

  5. prayforjustice says

    Every thing Mr. Carlin is saying is true! The rich want to take over this country and we will become drons only to work and serve them. Cant’t you people see whats really going on, there cutting education to our children,cutting vital programs to the Elderly the Disabled and the Poor, food stamps, medicare and they want to cut social security, aside from jobs people are losing homes and every thing they have worked all there lives to have, our lives are being distabilized our families are being broken even the Constitution is going out the door, and for what, THE RICH.They want to build more prisons so that the under educated of today will be the next inmate of tomoirrow. Well people it’s time we stood up and fight back (WHEN INJUSTICE BECOMES LAW THEN REBELLION BECOMES DUTY)LETS TAKE AMERICA BACK FOR US AND OUR CHILDREN!!!!!!

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