Government schools

This piece by John Stossel describes how dangerous it is to leave education in the hands of a government monopoly. This quote is just part of the problem:

When The Washington Post asked George Parker, head of the Washington, D.C., teachers union, about the voucher program there, he said: “Parents are voting with their feet. … 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.”

So the teachers union’s survival depends on having kids in government schools so they’ll have teachers to represent? Notice there’s no concern about kids getting a decent education – only about the survival of the teachers union. FOO!

Now for the good news, there’s this from The Business Insider:

Unionized Rhode Island Teachers Refuse To Work 25 Minutes More Per Day, So Town Fires All Of Them

Central Falls, RI is one of the poorest communities in the state. Hit hard by unemployment, the median income is a paltry $22,000 per year – teacher salaries at the high school are $72K – $78K. It is also home to one of the poorest performing school systems with 50% of its students failing all of their courses and a graduation rate of under 50%. In an effort to improve the schools without spending money it doesn’t have, the superintendent requested that teachers work an extra 25 minutes a day and spend more time with students.

Without even considering a reform plan, the union gave the superintendent a big UP YOURS. So the superintendent called their bluff and fired everyone – YIKES!

After learning of the union’s position, School Supt. Frances Gallo notified the state that she was switching to an alternative she was hoping to avoid: firing the entire staff at Central Falls High School. In total, about 100 teachers, administrators and assistants will lose their jobs.

Gallo blamed the union’s “callous disregard” for the situation, saying union leaders “knew full well what would happen” if they rejected the six conditions Gallo said were crucial to improving the school. The conditions are adding 25 minutes to the school day, providing tutoring on a rotating schedule before and after school, eating lunch with students once a week, submitting to more rigorous evaluations, attending weekly after-school planning sessions with other teachers and participating in two weeks of training in the summer.

Good for her! We need more of this…


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