Thursday, June 21, 2012

Exxon Mobil, the Education Company

If you watch TV, you are likely to see some slick ads from Exxon Mobil bewailing the test scores of American students in math and science. This is a good thing, and a problem that needs to be addressed. As Exxon Mobil declares on its website for the project:

In 2009, the Program for International Students Assessment ranked U.S. students 17th in the world in science and 25th in math. Let’s change those numbers. Let’s invest in our teachers. Let’s inspire our students. Let’s solve this.

Nice sentiment, but there is one big, thumping, elephant-in-the-room problem with this. You see, Exxon Mobil is a leading donor to the GOP, so far spending about a million on this election (and 12.7 million in 2011). They also fund ALEC and use their huge profits to keep those nice little oil subsides.

I have a hunch that that 4 billion in subsides could be used to improve education in this country, but then I'm just a writer and so don't have much more than a nodding acquaintance with money.

But maybe Exxon Mobil really is sincerely concerned about America's children. After all, they need employees. Thousands and thousands of them. So they're putting their vast wealth into supporting Mitt Romney, who said, speaking of President Obama recently:

“He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

I really should have taken some economics courses when I was in college instead of all that music and philosophy (and partying), then maybe I would understand how firing teachers is really investing in them. And of course Mr. Romney believes that class size is irrelevant when it comes to learning, so I imagine those kids will be seriously inspired to get out of school just as fast as possible and get jobs with Exxon Mobil. Or the military. But I repeat myself.

Yes, if Exxon Mobil gets its way, we should have a guaranteed workforce for decades (with basic math and science skills) hopefully all well-acclimated to hot, sandy, bomb-filled environments.

©2012 Kona Lowell

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