Reason TV: Cracking the education monopoly

posted at 6:05 pm on September 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

A month ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District chose to privatize more than 250 of its campuses in a desperate attempt to reverse decades of decline in the nation’s second-largest school district. Reason TV looks at the potential for an education in American education in this decision, which could unlock the government and teachers-union monopoly on the direction of public schools:

At the time, I wrote that this would have that effect, especially when scores and graduation rates improve. The unions insist that the only difference between charter schools and normal public schools is that parents get more involved in the former, but that’s because parents can get involved in shaping the curriculum at these alternatives. They do not get shut out by a sclerotic union-protection system and a picket fence of federal and state mandates. That allows parents to make a difference, which encourages participation.

Listen to the few arguments from the anti-choice side in this clip. One union official claims that the very word “choice” in this context relates to slavery and Jim Crow. With idiots like that in charge of the schools, it’s no small wonder that parents have had enough.

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+++++++GET RID OF THE GANG VIOLENCE AND GANSTA PUNKS AND YOUR SCHOOLS WILL IMPROVE+++

AMERICAN VETERAN on September 29, 2009 at 6:11 PM

With idiots like that in charge of the schools, it’s no small wonder that parents have had enough. our kids are coming out of public schools illiterate and indoctrinated

Not fixed, just my opinion…

Liberty or Death on September 29, 2009 at 6:12 PM

that’s change we can believe in….

NEA R.I.P. if this goes viral

cmsinaz on September 29, 2009 at 6:13 PM

After spending many years in downtown and south central L.A. I can only pray that these kids get a better education. For the past 50 years, the L.A. schools have produced nothing but problems, nothing but lost souls, nothing but lost opportunities…now, maybe at least some of the kids will have a chance to excel. And the parents will have an opportunity to support the schools, and the schools will support the parents.

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 6:14 PM

I’m glad to see that these parents are fighting back for their children. The unfortunate reality is that many school problems, originate at home. So, to fix a school, home has to be fixed first. If home isn’t getting fixed, then all those same schools are going to have the same kids doing the same crap, just now in a different location.

A school, like a gun, is an inanimate object. Outlawing guns is like outlawing a school–it makes no sense. The roots of problems in schools may, many times, originate with the entrenched union issues and teachers, however, that’s only a piece of the equation.

Reality.

ted c on September 29, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Good on Los Angeles for allowing school choice. We’ll improve our educational system through choice one school district at a time.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Wow…converting public schools to charters–that’s huge! The charters would not require the start up funding for facilities and would be able to compete on an equal footing.

Linnea on September 29, 2009 at 6:14 PM

BREAKING: Tsunami Alert issued for California, Oregon.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Wonder why Barry would be against “choice” in public schools in DC. Barry had a “choice” for his kids. Others in DC, not so much.

Of course Barry could set an example to all the other politicians and send his kids to public school…….
hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

GarandFan on September 29, 2009 at 6:16 PM

This is an inroad that conservatives can make with the minorities. “Get the bureaucrats and unions off my kids education!!!”

jdpaz on September 29, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Charter schools seem to work pretty well here.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Yeah. School vouchers require that parents and their kids accept enslavement to whitey. Got some real geniuses working at the LAUSD.

I guess the 50%+ dropout rate is mitigated by the fact that dropouts are immediately eligible for hiring by the district and the teachers’ union.

Cicero43 on September 29, 2009 at 6:18 PM

BREAKING: Tsunami Alert issued for California, Oregon.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Hmmm..might end up a problem solver.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 6:18 PM

Unfortunately, school choice is NOT part of the plan. Just privately run schools that you are still locked into.

Rightyismighty on September 29, 2009 at 6:18 PM

So,its the Blue T-shirts for Freedom of Choice

vrs.

the Red T-shirts, just shout the hell up,
thats sounds similar to the Southern States
sumpin sumpin racist sumpin!!!!!!!

UGH!!

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM

LAUSD is a cesspool. Kudos to these parents.

All children deserve a better option than the stinking LAUSD closed union slop shop they’ve been given for the last 40 years.

marybel on September 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Speaking of ugh,thats shut,not shout,Ugharoo!

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM

It appears that the Teachers are the main concern,not the CHILDREN,

and that, is not MMM MMM MMM good!!

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Hold your horses, didn’t Obama shut down vouchers in D.C.
Wait till he tries it in L.A.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Expecting black kids to succeed is racist.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 6:24 PM

BREAKING: Tsunami Alert issued for California, Oregon.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Link please.

upinak on September 29, 2009 at 6:30 PM

BREAKING: Tsunami Alert issued for California, Oregon.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

advisory in effect

upinak on September 29, 2009 at 6:33 PM

BREAKING: Tsunami Alert issued for California, Oregon.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Hmm..I hear the sound of a toilet flushing.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Cracking the education monopoly

The most important mission of our life time.

Speakup on September 29, 2009 at 6:35 PM

AMERICAN VETERAN on September 29, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Apparently, you have not been to a public school recently. Go to one and you’ll see that they have signs everywhere informing you of their zero tolerance policy for drugs, guns, and gangs. If that doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will.

/s

Kafir on September 29, 2009 at 6:37 PM

advisory in effect

upinak on September 29, 2009 at 6:33 PM

upinak: Stay safe upinak:)

http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 6:38 PM

They do not get shut out by a sclerotic union-protection system and a picket fence of federal and state mandates. That allows parents to make a difference, which encourages participation.

Most eloquently and appropriately said.

TXUS on September 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Next step: school vouchers. There are many private schools that are completely outperforming the public schools that are off limits to some parents because they have to pay twice — once in taxes and once in tuition. American parents should push for vouchers so that they can get their kids into these schools. When you start removing kids from the public schools in droves, I suspect the unions will be dethroned and reform would really start in earnest.

Christian Conservative on September 29, 2009 at 6:47 PM

I have asked this question more that a few times on here.

What is the argument against voucher/school choice???

What is the argument against it???

I can see how it’ll tell the NEA to stick it right up the old tan tail pipe…which is a very good thing. Any time a union gets the #hit end of the stick is a good day for me…but other than that, what does the other side have???

I would really like to hear it.

Not kidding.

BigWyo on September 29, 2009 at 6:58 PM

We may be nearing an inflection point regarding union damage to our society. Because of Obama’s relationship with unions, they are pushing more aggressively and increasing their damage to our society, which just may get the giant that is waking up to focus on the union issue as well as Obamacare and spending.
The charter-school opportunity is huge.

GaltBlvnAtty on September 29, 2009 at 7:02 PM

One union official claims that the very word “choice” in this context relates to slavery and Jim Crow.

I would have gone with the word choice being the rationale for murdering millions upon millions of babies. If I were so inclined…

Pablo on September 29, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Obama got rid of vouches in DC; we know where he stands.

Dhuka on September 29, 2009 at 7:07 PM

LA could lead the way.

Say what????

drjohn on September 29, 2009 at 7:13 PM

I believe in a woman’s right to choose…
… where her children go to school.

texasentrepreneur on September 29, 2009 at 7:15 PM

The local talk show guy here, Quinn, always says that if Democrats really cared about black people they would have given them school vouchers a long time ago. I agree with him.

foucaultsvac on September 29, 2009 at 7:27 PM

That slavery lady was hilarious. Bitter clinger.

SouthernGent on September 29, 2009 at 7:30 PM

That slavery lady was hilarious. Bitter clinger.

SouthernGent on September 29, 2009 at 7:30 PM

She looks old enough to have been a slave.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 7:32 PM

LA could lead the way.

Say what????

drjohn on September 29, 2009 at 7:13 PM

Lead? Milwaukee has had vouchers over a decade

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Charter schools are not all created equal. Not knowing the CA variety, it’s not clear to me how much of a step forward it is. But at least a small step it probably is.

The goal is school choice, such as by vouchers or universal tax credits. It’s an overwhelmingly popular thing among minorities, particularly black parents, whose children are disproportionately crippled for life by gubmit-union schools.

If the GOP hopes to continue to win elections, it’s essential to stop the public school indoctrination, to stop union teachers from waging the culture war from the classroom, and to break the gubmit-union monopoly .

If the GOP wants to appeal more to minorities, school choice is low-hanging fruit. Why it hasn’t been picked seems incomprehensible to me. Even today, who among our likely candidates is even talking about it.

Trumpeting the school choice issue seems like a no-brainer. But all I hear from our side is… crickets.

petefrt on September 29, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Vouchers make sense. Obama appears to want Federal control of education.

seven on September 29, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Apparently, you have not been to a public school recently. Go to one and you’ll see that they have signs everywhere informing you of their zero tolerance policy for drugs, guns, and gangs. If that doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will.
/s
Kafir on September 29, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Heh heh, too bad only 18% of ‘em can read.

mrt721 on September 29, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Heh heh, too bad only 18% of ‘em can read.

mrt721 on September 29, 2009 at 7:52 PM

That’s just wicked! True but wicked!!! ROTFLMAO

highhopes on September 29, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Public schools and how they have come to behave are a reasonable proxy of what we can expect from a “Public Option” in health care. They are basically a public entity setting the rules and competing against private alternatives in education.

DaMav on September 29, 2009 at 8:15 PM

The unions insist that the only difference between charter schools and normal public schools is that parents get more involved in the former, but that’s because parents can get involved in shaping the curriculum at these alternatives. They do not get shut out by a sclerotic union-protection system and a picket fence of federal and state mandates. That allows parents to make a difference, which encourages participation.

Ed, you are a consistently fine journalist, which is why Hot Air has earned so much credibility. You found an artful way to restate the obvious and this is an excellent example of effective writing — plus, it’s quite simply the truth.

Terrie on September 29, 2009 at 8:20 PM

Do you all think it possible that the attraction and dependence on big government may be waning?
I doubt it, the establishment will find some way (money) to torpedo this movement.
They are all racist.

david kumbera on September 29, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Yeah. School vouchers require that parenold many inner city kids in bondagets and their kids accept enslavement to whitey……

Cicero43 on September 29, 2009 at 6:18 PM

The reality is closer to the polar opposite. Today, lack of education is the real slavery….no coincidence that in the Old South it was illegal to teach a slave to read. The slaveholders knew that once you teach a man to read, you give him the tool to gain wisdom. The unions hold most inner city kids in bondage on a plantation of uber-liberal government schools preaching/teaching a Blame / Hate America creed.

Red State State of Mind on September 29, 2009 at 8:29 PM

I have asked this question more that a few times on here.

What is the argument against voucher/school choice???

What is the argument against it???

I can see how it’ll tell the NEA to stick it right up the old tan tail pipe…which is a very good thing. Any time a union gets the #hit end of the stick is a good day for me…but other than that, what does the other side have???

I would really like to hear it.

Not kidding.

BigWyo on September 29, 2009 at 6:58 PM

These are the reasons I hear: not that I believe to be 100% accurate:
1) Vouchers take tax money away from public schools that isn’t replaced and public schools have bills that stay constant- heating, cooling, replacing carpeting, etc etc that can’t be paid if you are taking money away and not allowing us to raise taxes(caps)
1a) Districts will cut the number of teachers and increase the teacher/student ratio to balance the loss of tax dollars making it impossible for scores to improve

2)Charter/private schools don’t have to take every student who applies- ie they discriminate against disabled, underachievers, discipline issue children, language or religion incompatibility where public school has to take everyone
3)Private schools will take away our highly qualified teachers – because they want smaller class sizes, more autonomy, and less redtape.
4)We can’t compete against the donations of equipment, computers that private schools get from rich donors.
5)Good public schools will be hurt even if they don’t lose any kids to vouchers because state budgets will reduce the amount each school receives
6) Charters don’t live by the same rules that public schools have to live by.

journeyintothewhirlwind on September 29, 2009 at 8:32 PM

I would run a pyramid scheme to afford to keep my boy out of public schools. There are some other things I’d do too but I better not mention them.

Sapwolf on September 29, 2009 at 8:33 PM

Red State State of Mind on September 29, 2009 at 8:29 PM

And then set the girls and women up to stay on the plantation, get pregnant, and then get an abortion at a Planned Parenthood death clinic which then diverts welfare money to PP lining their pockets with blood money.

We cannot have the cows get smart because then it means less money to the Dem plantation owners and PP.

Make them dumb, ignorant, dependent like domesticated animals then slaughter their children for millions of dollars every year.

Then preach Hope and Change to them and do it all over again.

Sapwolf on September 29, 2009 at 8:39 PM

“School Voucher Opponents Protest Food Stamps Program” http://optoons.blogspot.com/2009/06/school-voucher-opponents-protest-food.html

Mervis Winter on September 29, 2009 at 9:03 PM

Uh Oh, Mr Clark is comin.

faol on September 29, 2009 at 9:05 PM

With idiots like that in charge of the schools, it’s no small wonder that parents have had enough.

Let you in on a secret…a lot of them go into school that way.

And, as the saying goes, the acorn/apple does not fall far from the tree.

Truthfully, I think that kids should have to learn how to fix their own cars, do their own plumbing, do their own home wiring, fix ACs, do their own carpet laying, roofing and carpentry.

That way, our country would no longer have to support an underclass of high school dropouts and their beer/meth habits. Won’t have to worry about union wages/BS anymore.

Also, start ordering everything online and put the retailers out of business. We’ll drive less and maybe some of these dumpy convenience stores/fillin’ stations will close down.

While we’re at it, we should be allowed to contract with companies for our local police and firefighters…pay ‘em minimum wage thus lowering our taxes.

Privatize the postal service and pay UPS rates instead.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 29, 2009 at 9:06 PM

journeyintothewhirlwind on September 29, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Well, alrighty then…that’s really the first halfway sane reasoning I’ve ever heard.

There surely would be some ouch in the beginning, but I can’t see how competition can do anything but improve the situation.

I still think it has 90% to do with the unions keeping on keeping on….

Unions: Legalized extortion. Noting more.

BigWyo on September 29, 2009 at 11:10 PM

School systems are sick. Charter schools are a treatment, but here is the healing:
http://jgapinoy.blogspot.com/2007/12/call-for-educational-revolution.html

jgapinoy on September 30, 2009 at 1:38 AM

True story. Back in the 90′s, the Compton School district, next to the LA Unified, was failing. The state took over the school system. In the 5 years the state was running the school system, test scores dropped further!! In addition to failing academically, the school maintenance was so bad, it was unsafe for the students to drink water from the drinking fountains.

The only thing that can save these hopelessly corrupt and bad school systems is to shut them down and give all the students vouchers to find a private alternative. The special needs students can get higher $$ vouchers.

Instead Obambi cuts the vouchers in DC, failing the students who are excelling through those voucher programs. This is all about bowing to the teacher unions, and not giving a care at all about the students.

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2009 at 2:54 AM

This is the same district that is indoctrinating children to be union activists. Just sayin’.

Buy Danish on September 30, 2009 at 8:06 AM

Some east coast cities in the(quite a while ago) past(do not ask me for details, I simply don’t remember)had opted for some schools to be taken over privately. Not whole districts, but single schools which were used to experiment with this idea. I think there are still some today. Anyway, my flimsy memory seems to recall that it was a mixed result, with some schools doing very well and others showing no improvment at all. Not that I’m against this trial balloon by LA, they have no place to go but up as I understand it. Don’t be expecting miracles though. Some school districts have a student population that would take decades to turn around if that’s even possible. Again, the two big teacher’s unions are too powerful both in the schools and in the government but the mess in some schools is not their fault. They often fall back on the lack of parental support for these kids and while they over use this excuse, it’s still very true. If the kids coming to that school have no parental or societal values to build on, most times failure on many fronts is inevitable. And…there is such a thing as too much parental control. Some parents see only their own kids and see them through a skewed lens of their own points of view–they do not see that the school is a group effort and cannot be geared to their kids and their values only. Right and wrong on both sides. Sorry for the length.

jeanie on September 30, 2009 at 8:40 AM

Get back to basics, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and history. Take back our schools from the control of the government and allow local control. Tell DC to get out of the education business, close the Dept. of Education and send those dollars back to the States. This is the way that they continue to exercise government control and ruin our once great education system. Let the parents and other social institutions take care of socializing our youth.

hillbilly on September 30, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Why choice in public education? We should shut public schools DOWN! Taxation is theft!

Anywho, supply will meet demand in a free market setting. You’ll find quality education at affordable prices. I got my hs diploma through a private school. Tuition? $376. And they accepted payments as low as $40 a month. And we don’t even have a free market in education, so that’s pretty damn good

Libertarian Joseph on September 30, 2009 at 9:52 AM