Stossel On Government Schools

From his blog at Fox Business Network, John Stossel has this on government schools:

It’s absurd that powerful Americans consider it normal that they must move their residence or manipulate politicians to get their kids into a good school No one has do that to buy an iphone, or a good restaurant meal In every business besides education, successful producers expand. When more people started liking McDonalds – there were no lines around the block, because McDonalds expanded to meet demand.

What exactly is Stossel talking about? Yet another corrupt Obama administration official.

While many Chicago parents took formal routes to land their children in the best schools, the well-connected also sought help through a shadowy appeals system created in recent years under former schools chief Arne Duncan.

Whispers have long swirled that some children get spots in the city’s premier schools based on whom their parents know. But a list maintained over several years in Duncan’s office and obtained by the Tribune lends further evidence to those charges. Duncan is now secretary of education under President Barack Obama.

The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan’s tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

Non-connected parents, such as those who sought spots for their special-needs child or who were new to the city, also appear on the log. But the politically connected make up about three-quarters of those making requests in the documents obtained by the Tribune.

The American education system can be best described as “all children are equal but some are more equal than others”. This is because of the way we have structured government schools. While most of these special requests were rejected by Duncan, the fact that Chicago’s ruling elite could even make these special requests is troubling. Expect Chicago-style school admission policies to spread nationwide as Obama completes what his predecessor started when he likely nationalizes the education system this year. America’s health care system will be heading on this track soon.

If we had school choice via vouchers, parents could decide where their children are educated, not government bureaucrats. Good schools will expand to take in more children while bad schools will improve in order to stay in business.

Until your state gets a real school choice program, if you are able to, get your children out of government schools. Put them in a private school or better yet, homeschool them yourself. Ever since government involvement increased in education, students have been dumbed down and our nation has become less free. Teacher’s unions continue to demand pay raises and obscene benefits without being held accountable for student performance.

If our country is to regain its freedom, the government education monopoly must be broken.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
  • VRB

    “If we had school choice via vouchers, parents could decide where their children are educated, not government bureaucrats. Good schools will expand to take in more children while bad schools will improve in order to stay in business. ”

    If you believe parents wont exploit that system, you are wrong. It will still be who you know and how to play admissions. I would bet that the academically poor wouldn’t get in, also probably certain zip codes, too. The school boards would probably rig the system so that certain schools would prove the voucher system a success. The private schools will have had certain rules and specific criteria for admissions, they are not going to change those. The “good” schools, even if they wanted, wouldn’t be able to expand quickly enough and still provide quality education.

  • John222

    VRB, if by exploit you mean to take advantage of the opportunity, I would certainly hope that all parents would exploit the voucher system. Better yet, perhaps parents will be able to use those vouchers to purchase materials to educate their own children at home.

    What do you mean by “academically poor”? It sounds like a new pc way to say “below grade level”. I also fail to see what zip codes have to do with anything outside of bussing kids to public schools. School boards, to my knowledge, can only influence what goes on in a public school. How will this affect a private school that is paid by a willing, even eager parent using a voucher somewhat like a tax return (for those that actually pay taxes)?

    If some kind of voucher system is ever actually implemented on a large scale, I would fully expect any private schools that chose to participate to toughen their entrance criteria. I doubt they would limit acceptance based on geography or zip codes, but why not? As a private entity they could choose to only accept children with genius level IQ’s that live near a river if they wanted to.

    The point of the voucher system is to give parents viable choices as to where to take their most valuable possesion for education. My wife and I chose to make some sacrifices in order for her to stay home and educate our own children in our own way. All three of them are doing quite well, but I have to admit I could really use a refund of the property taxes I pay that go to support public schools that my children will never attend. In fact, my money goes to help educate other children who may someday be competing against my progeny for the same position. Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubts that my children will be easily more qualified for any position compared to the average public school student.

    Any good schools that can’t or won’t expand fast enough to meet the demand will find themselves competing with brand new schools that will. On the flip side, any schools that fail to provide a quality education will (I hope) be forced to close their doors due to a lack of voluntary funding. The only reason we have so many failing schools is because they get funding whether they do well or not. As a matter of fact, the worst schools seem to get funding increases.

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  • VRB

    I was trying to make anything PC. I just was trying to use few words, which you did. I didn’t think the words you used.

    I meant exploit in the same way the Kevin described it.

  • VRB

    I accidentally posted that last comment.
    I was not trying to make anything PC. I was just trying to use few words, which you did. I didn’t think of the words you used.

    I meant exploit in the same way the Kevin described it.

    If you can use vouchers to go to any school within that district, especially private schools, you would have to move across zip codes.

    Homeschooling may be an option for some people, lets hope that they have skills or are literate enough to do this. Even if I could have done it, I didn’t have the skill to do it. BTW I did have a husband.

  • David

    My take is why subject our children to, at best third rate education w/ radical leftist indoctrination for 12 years of their lives. We still live in free country people and frankly it is insanity for us to complain about something that WE ALL CAN do something about. See article below for further info