We all feel that the computers and Internet time that are offered “free” to our schools by various computer and other companies is a God send in that most school districts couldn’t otherwise afford such luxuries. To extend to our children the opportunities that the electronic age offers can only be an act of extreme generosity and caring.
Well, think again, gentle readers. You know as well as I that Corporate America offers nothing for free, that all of what Corporate America does has a bottom line.
ZapMe! Corporation, an Internet provider supported through contracts with Microsoft, Dell and the like, has contracts with over 6,000 schools, as well. These contracts fulfill what most progressives think of as Corporate America’s place in society; a source of assistance to our children in exchange for the wonderful freedoms and protections that our nation offers them.
Well, as is always the case when discussing Corporate America and its motives, every silver lining is surrounded by a dark cloud.
What ZapMe! Corporation actually demands in exchange for its largesse is that the computers be used by the children a minimum of four hours every single school day. This wee requirement is so that the children can be exposed to the advertising that constantly appears at the bottom of the screen. Basically, gentle readers, the company is exchanging the opportunity to have computers available and demanding that the eyeballs of the students be focused on their ads for four hours a day as a minimum.
That’s not all folks, no sirree! The company also requires the schools to pass out their promotional advertising material every week for the kids to take home. That’s right, they not only grab the kids every day at the computers, themselves. but then are allowed to reinforce the damage of those advertisements by placing even more ads into the hands of the children.
Now, you might be sitting there, reading this and thinking to yourself, “That’s about as low as those evil creatures in Corporate America can go, now isn’t it?” The answer to that query would be, naturally, you ain’t heard nothing, yet!
ZapMe!, with the overt assistance of these schools, also compiles detailed information about every child in the school. The amass such private information as the child’s name and age and sex and the number of people in their family and their address and hobbies and the like and then they have the children log onto their Internet service individually. This way, the advertisements can be tailored to each child’s information and the sites that each child visits can be included in order to fine tune ZapMe!’s commercilation of that child’s education.
Gentle readers, if this evil trend is allowed to continue, your children’s education will be sponsored entirely by corporate interests. These interests will have little if any desire to educate them regarding anything but their products and to create nothing but zombie consumers.
Between the corruption of stealing public educational funds and handing it to fundamentalist Christian schools so that they can indoctrinate another generation of myth, magic and miracle believing Americans and the profiteering that is going on in our schools by Corporate America, the once proud American education system is quickly disappearing and being replaced with brain washed five year old children being used as focus groups for the profit only of the school’s new masters.
When will America awaken from its long nightmare of conservative folly and recapture the educational system in order that our children be taught by the teachers who have devoted their lives to this cause and cease allowing commercialism and myth to have any hold over the process? When will states such as California restore its educational system to the prominence it held before the destructive attacks on our children by the total Republican failures; the Reagan and Dukemejian and Wilson years? When will we understand that the failures of our school system can’t be laid entirely at the feet of our teachers but must, instead, be attributed to those actually at fault; parents who aren’t involved with their children’s education and corporations who want only to create better (meaning less informed) consumers and a bureaucracy that stifles and smothers every effort at improvement by those Americans to whom we owe our thanks, not our censure, the teachers, themselves? When we will find it in our hearts to quit whining about taxes and begin treating our children as the God given gifts that they are and offer to them the best education available? Probably, as the raven said, “Nevermore!”
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