Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Education: Too Important to be Left to Government

Our education system is not suffering a lack of money, it is suffering a lack of competition.

Our education system is a colossal failure, still being run on an outdated, century-old model.  It is a Progressive Ozymandias:

...Nought but the teachers unions remaining to disclose
The site of these forgotten students ... (Apologies to Shelley)

Government Rewards Failure, The Private Sector Punishes It

Walter E. Williams asks a simple question, then answers it brilliantly:
Why is Wal-Mart so successful? Millions of people voluntarily enter their stores and part with their money in exchange for Wal-Mart's products and services. In order for that to happen, Wal-Mart and millions of other profit-motivated businesses must please people.

He then contrasts private sector success to endemic public sector failure.
A major non-profit service provider is the public education establishment that delivers primary and secondary education at nearly a trillion-dollar annual cost. Public education is a major source of complaints about poor services that in many cases constitute nothing less than gross fraud.

If Wal-Mart, or any of the millions of producers who are in it for money and profits, were to deliver the same low-quality services, they would be out of business, but not public schools.
Schools don't need more money

John Stossel writes about how an "underfunded," "minority" charter school is outperforming all public schools in Oakland.
Consider the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, Calif. It was once a failing school, but now it's one of the best in California. Ben Chavis turned it around without any additional money.

Chavis' experience exposes the school establishment's lies for what they are. Nearly all of Chavis' students are considered economically disadvantaged (98 percent qualify for free lunches), yet they have the fourth-highest test scores of any school in the state.

"In Oakland this year, on the AP (advanced placement) exam, we had 100 percent of all the blacks and Mexicans in the city of Oakland who passed AP calculus," Chavis said. "There are four high schools, and we're the only ones who had anyone pass AP calc."

Yet Chavis accomplishes this without the "certified" teachers so revered by the educational establishment. His classes are as big as, and sometimes bigger than, public school classes, but only a quarter of his teachers are certified by the state. (John Stossel - Money is Not What Schools Need)
I highly recommend you read all about The Indian School here:  LA Times - Indian School.  It will open your eyes and give you ammo for arguing against the statists who insist we need to give those who have wrecked the system more money and more power.

I like David Warren's solution to all this:
The one immediate, radical reform for which I think we should aim, after winning the battle of ideas, is the destruction of all centralized school boards and liquidation of all departments of education. Put every single public and high school in the control of a local parent association, and necessity -- the most efficient instructor -- will soon teach the parents what they must do. (David Warren - Back to Schools)
Indeed. For the sake of this nation, get the federal government out of primary and secondary education.  Only competition and innovation will restore what progressive statism has destroyed.
Government-owned nonprofit entities are immune to the ruthless market discipline of being forced to please customers. The same can be said of businesses that receive government subsidies. (Walter E. Williams)
Expose the education system to the brutal forces of the marketplace
It will empower parents, shut out the parasitic bureaucrats, bring costs down and student knowledge up.  Best of all, the crappy teachers will be looking for a job in another line of work, because no competitive school will want them.


Fredd said...

I love Stossel'a and W.E.Williams' stuff, they are brilliant guys. But I did not see any mention of one of the biggest proximate causes of why public schools suck so badly: teacher's unions.

These are the guys (and gals) who make the rules. They reward teachers by how long they have been paying union dues, and not how long or how well the teachers have been teaching.

Tenure. A very bad thing to base our kids' future on. And a bad teacher is like a broken cannon: they won't work, and you can't fire 'em.

Public teachers unions have negotiated early retirments for all their members, who cash out after 30 years at age 52, and the district has to hire another teacher to fill that slot that already has a retired slug collecting from that one teaching position. And if that new teacher retires at 52, and the old teacher is still alive and kicking at 82, there will be THREE CHECKS that have to be cut for that single teaching slot, and spread that over the entire damn public school system and you have a damn mess.

Nuff said.

Trestin said...

Did Jesus, Buddha, or Aristotle have text books or computers? A good teacher does not need large amounts of money to be effective

WomanHonorThyself said...

exactly what Trestin said Silver..true true!

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Our public education system sucks because the Federal Government involved itself unconstitutionally into education.

The federal government has absolutely no constitutional right or power to be involved in education or our health care for that matter.

If we want to improve our schools, we MUST end federal government's involvement. We MUST get rid of the Department of Education.

Lisa said...

Poor Charter schools have a better track record.

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