The New American Schools Development Corp., funded by large businesses and industries, emerged last fall. We were led to believe that the corporation "intends to underwrite the design of new performance educational environments." The corporation apparently is aware that the U.S. is at, or near the bottom of all industrialized nations in academic achievement.
The NASDC's announcement of its first grants to schools suggests, however, that we have been subject to a cruel hoax.
For example, the corporation will pay for a school in San Diego where instead of learning subjects such as mathematics, students will attend sessions called "Self and Others," "Values and Ethics," and "Skills." These students will go on lots of "wilderness expeditions."
One's first impulse is a sigh of relief--"At least this time the schools are not wasting the taxpayer's money." We are not off the hook so easily, unfortunately.
The financial supporters of the NASDC simply will add their contributions to the cost of doing business.
The public will pay for the NASDC, in the long-run, through higher prices for goods and services.
PATRICK GROFF, Professor Emeritus, SDSU