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Unions, Government and education

"Parents ask only for schools that are safe, teachers who are competent, and diplomas that open doors of opportunity. When a public system fails, repeatedly, to meet these minimal objectives, parents ask only for a choice in the education of their children. ... No entrenched bureaucracy or union should deny parents that choice and children that opportunity,"

   -- Ron Paul

His applause-getting statement that perhaps the teachers should get twice $89K was sad. This Wisconsin thing has progressives and conservatives in such a misguided conversation. No one is asking what the consumers of education, the kids and their parents, want to spend or not spend for education.


John Stossel
4 March 2007
"Stupid in America"
It shows:
What is wrong with the current system, what the system could be like, and what the impediments to change are. Above all it shows in general the basic problem with all government monopolys.

First John Identifies that there is a problem. 
  • Kids do not like it.
  • Teachers do not have control
  • Parents are not really aware of what really goes on at school "parents don't know what they don't know".
  • The school is the primary factor
  • John dispels the myth that money is the problem
  • Author of book "Education Myths" is introduced
  • Alternative schools are shown
  • Parents can feel helpless because schools have the power
  • Schools give up on some students
  • A private school is able to do what the public couldn't
  • An industry springs up to pursue those denied access by legislation to good schools. A black market forms.
  • Countries that allow parents to choose schools tend to outperform US schools
  • In Belgium the money follows the student, not the school
  • In that case the teacher has to please the parents, the power lies with them
  • American system is a lottery
  • The current system does not allow bad schools to close, which is bad for everyone.
  • The pressure that schools might close provides stimulus for innovation
  • The importance of choice was explained
  • Some people are politically privileged in the school system (injustice)
  • Standards are dropped to meet political goals
  • Education is too important to screw up
  • State Education is provided as a monopoly and an inefficient bureaucracy
  • People with vested interests object to necessary change
  • The systems focus is not the child, teachers are too protected
  • There is a culture of mediocrity, not meritocracy
  • Organisations cannot police themselves
  • People are hiding behind regulation and bureaucracy
  • Bad teachers are bought off, paid to do nothing
  • It is claimed People who criticise the system "Don't care about kids"
  • If you are a good teacher you do not need tenure to protect your job.
  • Vouchers that follow the child improved results

Outputs rather than inputs
"This is much more a focus on how do we get learning outcomes and student achievement rather than as we have done focus always on what the inputs are."

Freeing up education allows specialist schools
Preformance pay