Last weekend was the Masters golf tournament. By the way, is there anything that says Spring is here quite so much as watching the tournament and seeing the beauty of that golf course? Other than the opening day of baseball season? This year, baseball season and the Masters both opened on Thursday, April 5. Must have been a sign. It was spring.
But getting to the point -- how politically calculating were the ads run by ExxonMobil? To the best of my recollection, every single one of their ads made the point that the USA was falling behind the rest of the world in science and math education and we need to provide lots of money to our teachers to fix the problem. Note -- the ads were particularly hard to miss because the Masters has only 3 sponsors and limits the number of commercials per hour. (IBM and AT&T were the others.)
Here is a list of ads from the corporate web site. http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/news_ad_us12_letssolvethis.aspx
Most or all were shown on the broadcast of the golf tournament. Note the summation sentences --
"The more we invest in teachers, the better our students will perform. Let’s solve this."
"Let’s do what is best for our students by investing in our teachers. Let’s solve this."
"Let’s invest in our teachers and inspire our students. Let’s solve this."
I'm sure everyone wants to see our schools do a better job of preparing our students for STEM jobs. And ExxonMobil is to be commended for pointing out our deficiency. But I have to question their proposed solution. Do they really think that the problem is a lack of funding? Funding for education has risen dramatically in the last few decades. The rate of growth in spending has far exceeded the rate of inflation. Based on the available evidence, it's hard to make a case that money is the problem or that an increase in spending will improve performance.
What is not hard to see is that teachers should be happy with the message. That would be the teachers whose unions are the dominant special interest among the special interests which control and dictate to the Democrat Party. And the Democrat Party would be the political party whose politicians have been hammering on oil companies a lot lately in blaming them for rising gas prices and proposing changes to the tax code to punish them.