"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Friday, July 6, 2012

What About the Students with "Pre-Existing Conditions?"

A Fox News medical contributor complained that doctors will resent being forced to cover people who don't take care of their health...people who are neglectful of their health or live unhealthy lifestyles. Dr. Marc Siegel said,
They are forcing me to cover all pre-existing conditions, which sounds great. Let’s take care of everybody’s pre-existing condition. You lie on the couch for 30 years, you never exercise, you gain weight, you eat all the wrong foods, you get diabetes and now you have Obamacare. But the fact is, doctors don’t have to play ball with it. If they are not paid enough they won’t play ball with it.

Doctors that don't have any other choice, that are new in the game, or haven't made the amount of money they need, or aren't well known, those doctors will be accepting Obamacare. The others will be accepting cash. That's a two tiered system...
Dr. Siegel seems to be saying that doctors will reject being forced to take certain patients...and patients who have enough money will be able to pay cash and will get good service, while others might not.

I wonder how that would sound if we swap doctors for educators and medicine for education. Let's rewrite Dr. Siegel's comments from a teacher's point of view...
They are forcing me to teach students of all backgrounds, which sounds great. Let's teach everyone's children. The children with no literacy in the home, whose parents don't (or can't) work with them, who are dropped in front of a TV for hours each day...and now you have public education.

Teachers who don't have any other choice, who are new, or who haven't got the seniority...those teachers will have to work with students who are the most difficult to educate, who need the most help. That's a two tiered system.
"...and now you have public education." Exactly! That's what public education is...every child is accepted. It doesn't matter what their background is, or who their parents are. It doesn't matter if they have had numerous literacy experiences during their infancy, toddlerhood and early childhood. Public education accepts everyone.

The two tiered system Dr. Siegel refers to is expanding in the education sector. Public funding for public education is being cut. Increasingly public funding is being diverted to corporate charters and to vouchers for private schools.

The education debate has been redefined. The community aspect of public education is being lost and public education is no longer a place where children learn to be good citizens. The democratic advantage of a publicly funded educated citizenry is no longer valued and we have, as a nation, become selfish. The selling of the public education system, which is proceeding at an alarming rate, reflects the competition of our "me-centered" society. "This is what I want...if you want something get your own." With fully funded public education we were "in this together." Now, it's "every man for himself."

Race to the Top is the educational opposite of the Affordable Care Act. It doesn't provide resources to those who need it most. Instead, it rewards selected states who agree to the DOE's educationally and statistically unsound practices like the misuse of testing and increased corporate charters despite research which shows that most charters are no better than most neighborhood public schools.

The privatization of American public education creates a two tiered system. Those who have the resources can provide a sound education for their children. As Mitt Romney said, American students should "get as much education as they can afford."

What about the students with "pre-existing conditions?" What about students with special needs, emotional and academic problems? What about the students who don't have a lot of money or haven't had a lot of experiences? What about the students whose parents are immigrants and don't speak English? What about students who don't have enough food or are homeless?

"As much education as they can afford" leaves a lot of students behind.


By the way, you can hear for yourself what Dr. Siegel had to say, here.

Think Progress responded,
In reality, only a small minority of doctors in higher-income areas refuse to accept insurance. Most providers participate in Medicare and Medicaid and will continue to do so under the Affordable Care Act.

The law increases incentive payments for primary care physicians in Medicare, general surgeons in rural and underserved areas, and some mental health services. Primary care physicians in Medicaid will also receive a payment bump in 2013 and 2014. ACA also invests in preventive care and wellness initiative to encourage people to lead healthier life styles.

Stop the Testing Insanity!


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