In Jay Stossel’s editorial, “Stupid In America” Stossel addresses controversial and serious problems within the American public school system. He states how “school spending has gone through the roof and test scores are flat. ” That education has remained the same throughout all these years since we first began measuring it in 1970. Stossel writes that this is “because K-12 education is a government monopoly and monopolies don’t improve. ” Stossel explains how many attempts at reform have run into resistance and the biggest resistance has been from the teacher’s union.
When George Parker was interviewed, when he headed the Washington, D. C. teachers union, and asked, “Why he fought a voucher program that let some kids escape failing government schools,” he said, “As kids continue leaving the system, we will lose teachers. Our very survival depends on having kids in D. C. schools so we’ll have teachers to represent. ” Another former union president, Albert Shanker openly stated, “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.
” (Stossel 2011) Both of these brutally honest statements from the head leaders, at one time or another, of the teachers’ union supported their own selfish causes, and certainly not the concerns or well-being of the students. If spending has doubled, but the outcome of the test scores have slightly dropped since 1970, what does this say about our public school system and those “in charge” of it? What is it going to take to actually improve the education in public schools?
Stossel describes groups resistant to change, such as federations, alliances, departments, councils, boards, commissions, panels, and so on, all of which are called the “Blob”. The group with the most power is the teachers’ union. The “Blob” resists any type of competitive approach. The thought of competition amongst public schools, to give Americans the right to choose where their child gets an education and not be stuck by what their zip code says is always voted down by the union.
“Blob” may have its usual “talks” of change but the results remain the same, which is nothing but a barrier that is almost impossible to break through. In John Stossels’ “Stupid In America” video interview he spoke to Kevin Chavous from the Center for Education Reform. Chavous states, “Choice, to me, is the only way I believe that we can force the system from an external vantage point to change itself. It (public education), will NEVER change itself from within. Letting parents choose would encourage schools to compete.
This empowers the parent that’ll locally improve education. ” Everyone wins when you add competition. The students at the competitive schools as well as the public schools in the same areas because both of the schools now have incentives to do more and provide better quality care to the students. In an interview with former principle of the American Indian Public Charter Schools in Oakland, CA, Dr. Ben Chavis says, “If we don’t change we won’t be able to compete and that’s the bottom line!
” Jay Greene is an author of “Education Myths” and one of the myths he covers is the constant claims of public schools needing more money in order to improve the testing scores and overall performance of the students. But what very few people realize is the fact that public K-12 spending is approaching $10,000 per pupil — double what it was three decades ago, adjusting for inflation. And total school spending is approaching $500 billion — more than we spend on national defense ($454 billion) and more than the entire GDP of Russia ($433 billion).
Teachers are paid, on average in public elementary schools $30. 75 per hour which is more than an architect which is paid an average of $26. 64, or a mechanical engineer at an average of $29. 46. (Greene, and Winters) Another myth that teachers are horribly underpaid at public schools which contributes to the low test scores is indeed a myth, not a fact. It is to the benefit of a special interest group, in this case, the “Blob” to promote the myths. Their financial stake in education policy is what keeps them invested so deeply in the myths about education. In another clip of a separate interview, Dr.
Ben Chavis says, “If they really cared about kids they wouldn’t just throw money, they would attach it to accountability. ” If the $10,000 spent per pupil in the public school system were instead attached to each student for them to go to the school of their choice as long as certain grades, educational goals, attendance, and whatever other criteria a school might want to include, are met and the student stays in that school and graduates, then the school gets that money and the student reaps the rewards of going to a school that, due to competition, worked diligently on that students success.
It is concerning and frustrating that a monopoly over education exists so strongly in this country and that our children enrolled in public schools are getting some of the worst educations in the entire world. To find out that the constant argument of needing more funding to improve our children’s education is simply a myth and the fact is that money is not at all the issue or problem is extremely frustrating and upsetting. Greed and covering up these schemes seem to be what the monopoly is mostly concerned with.
At least there is hope with some of these leaders who have come forwards, but have been taking one heck of a beating from the unions because they are standing up for our children’s education and not just sticking their heads in the sand. If we supply real support to those with courage to do what is right and pull back any and all support we may have provided away from the bullies in large numbers then we take away their power and give it back to our children and leaders who truly deserve it. Works Cited Greene, Jay, and Marcus Winters.
“Education Myths, Why So Many? ” Rowan & Littlefield, 09072005. Web. 9 Oct 2011. http://old. nationalreview. com/comment/greene_winters200509070830. asp . Stossel, John. “Stupid In America. ” FOX News. foxnews. com, 09162011. Web. 7 Oct 2011. http://www. foxnews. com/opinion/2011/09/16/stupid-in-america/? cmpid=cmty_email_Gigya_Stupid_In_America . http://abcnews. go. com/2020/video http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=RjjpCRaissY http://www. skooledonline. com/skooled/Entries/2009/7/7_Fight_Club_-_episode_1_. html http://youtu. be/pDuG4Ege8Aw.
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