CNHI News Service

Opinion

December 6, 2012

COLUMN: For teacher unions, money and power most important goals

—  

Why do 4,900 children in Louisiana matter to everyone in the U.S.?

Because their fate reveals a universal truth about American public schools: they are rigged for the adults working at them.

A Louisiana judge last week made national news for ruling a school voucher program for those children unconstitutional under state law. The suit was brought by an education union to stop the program, which allows low-income students from bad schools to attend the private school of their choice. The public schools fled by students were rated C, D or F by the state.

The union, the Louisiana Association of Educators, went so far as to threaten legal action against schools accepting voucher students this summer. They did all of this for the children, of course.

The case will likely be appealed. But as Robert Enlow of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice wrote this week, the logic behind the union lawsuit is “it's better for all children to get a lousy education than for some to get the chance to escape to a better school using a voucher.” Since most schools in the Louisiana K-12 public school system are ranked C, D or F, the union has won that battle already.

And other unions have been trying to subjugate learning to their demands in myriad copycat suits around the country and in campaigns to stop virtually any type of school choice. Currently, Indiana is awaiting a ruling from the state’s highest court on its voucher program. The result of the public school monopoly is generations of children for whom graduation – if they get there – is merely a rite of passage instead of a meaningful stamp of job and civil society worthiness.

Statistics tell the story. Between 1950 and 2009, the number of K-12 public school students increased by 96 percent as the number of full-time equivalent school employees skyrocketed 386 percent, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics analyzed by the Friedman Foundation. And per pupil spending in public schools has more than doubled in inflation adjusted dollars over the last four decades – but student performance has stagnated – showing that those who run the schools have benefitted tremendously at the expense of learning.

Text Only
Opinion
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Voters beware of oligarchs and bogeymen

    Scaring voters to distract them from issues is a tired - and bipartisan - ploy sure to be in heavy rotation this campaign season.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Legal marijuana can be government's new cash crop

    Officials holding out against legalized marijuana may "evolve" their thinking because of one number: Colorado says it gathered $2 million in taxes from pot shops in January, as business was just getting started.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Banning a 'B-word' teaches girls the wrong lesson

    Striking the word "bossy" from the language doesn't help young girls learn to speak up or become leaders. It teaches them how to be, well, bossy.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Giving businesses choice is not legalizing discrimination

    The owner of a California gay bar should be allowed to refuse service to legislators he considers "crazy, ignorant or stupid." The problem is the popular double-standard that supports his version of "discrimination" while raging against anyone who disagrees with him but wants the same freedom.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama twists Constitution to cut U.S. military

    President Obama's plan to slash the military to pre-World War II levels endangers the country, especially when our enemies don't know the war is over.

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Benefits of hiking minimum wage are an illusion

    The president's latest economic fantasy says raising the minimum wage will incentivize work, lower unemployment, juice the economy and may even lower taxes. All while businesses swallow billions of dollars more in labor costs.

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Coastal residents should pay true cost of flood insurance

    The environmental champions in Congress took a big break from their moral scolding this past month with a gigantic “Never mind!” after their constituents discovered the law requiring them to start paying the true cost of living in flood-prone areas.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Death penalty warranted in Boston Marathon bombing case

    It's a good thing Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wasn't given over to the angry masses after he was arrested in Boston. It's also fair that, if found guilty, he should face the death penalty.

    February 7, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Features