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 Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Congress should be cheered, not blamed, for sitting on its hands

    President Obama, his minions and the media wag their fingers at Congress for being unproductive, but passing more laws isn't necessarily a good thing.

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Impeachment arms Democrats, doesn't end the Obama disaster

    Republicans may have grounds to impeach President Barack Obama but they would be daft to pursue a case they cannot win in a Senate controlled by Democrats. Impeachment would only drive the Democrats' fundraising and potentially squander the GOP's best opportunity in years to capture both houses of Congress then, in two years, the White House.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hobby Lobby critics push specious privacy pitch

    The violation of privacy argument by liberal detractors of the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby-Obamacare case doesn't hold water when you consider the current collection and use of the personal details of your medical preferences.

    July 11, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Declare your independence from empty slogans

    'Independence Day' is now an ironic celebration in a country where the president promotes government dependence over actual freedom, and where bumper-sticker slogans have replaced actual, independent thought.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Taxi owners, government patrons try forcing Uber to go 'off-duty'

    Uber gives urban passengers an enticing alternative. Rides on-demand arrive faster than taxis, are cheaper and cleaner, and get rated by customers. Rather than hail innovation, government enablers are helping the heavily regulated taxicab industry freeze out the upstart.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg IRS spins email yarn as Obama slips past another scandal

    Forget everything you've heard about email. All digital trace of a former IRS official's email over the 25 months the agency harassed conservative groups has mysteriously, improbably vanished. Gone, too, is the White House's accountability as President Obama slips from another scandal.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Features