As we just celebrated School Choice Week, which included stalling on approving Betsy DeVos to run the Dept. of Education, I figured that I should chime in. Now to some of you, part of this will be something you have read before as it is something that I posted on Facebook many months ago. For those of you who did not see it, this will be brand spankin’ new. Education is one of those hot-button topics. Everyone has an opinion about it. I have many. I know that one in four college freshman is required to take either remedial math or remedial reading. This goes for Ivy League schools as well as community colleges. To me that says 25% of our high school graduates should not have had diplomas issue to them. I guess the figure is considerably higher since we have no data on those who graduated high school but did not matriculate into college. I know that in a Gallup Poll done a few years back where public schools finished last in every category behind private, charter and home schooling. Only 12% of citizens have a lot of faith in public schools, only about a third have any faith in them at all. That means two-thirds of Americans have no faith in public education. No company could ever exist with such a negative sentiment unless it were a monopoly or a near monopoly. The solution to better education is simple. To explain, I give you the Trabant.
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall.”
In East Germany (communist) the most popular car was the Trabant. The waiting list was years long. It was arguably the worst car ever manufactured on a large scale. It was built from 1958 to 1990. Why did the worst car in the world have such a long run? It was a state owned, state designed product. The fact that the state (East Germany) just happened to be a communist state is inconsequential. Government is always the worst producer of goods. The products cost too much, the quality is poor, and you have no one to complain to about the poor quality and cost. In America, we have state run education. Very much like the Trabant. Nothing more than a jobs program. In many school districts, barely half the employees stand in front of a classroom. The other half are administrators, paper pushers, bean counters that report back to the mothership on the current state of failure. Results are pathetic, and there is a refusal by the government to allow open competition which would mean better products at lower costs. So, what ended the run of the Trabant, the worst car ever, in 1990? The Berlin Wall fell in November 1989. Freedom killed the Trabant, plain and simple. It was no coincidence. That same freedom can bring great education back to America. Former President Obama ended school vouchers in Washington, DC, the worst school district in America, while sending his children to private school. A great president, Ronald Reagan, stood in front of that Berlin Wall and told Gorbachev to tear it down.
Let the Sun Shine
Is it not the time to tear down the walls that protect failing schools, that support failing programs and untested and unpopular curriculum, and allow too many subpar teachers to continue to teach? Is it not the time to harness the energy and ingenuity of the free market? Bring in freedom, allow capitalism to produce the best schools, best teachers, and methods, and once and for all force schools to be accountable to children and parents or end this state-run travesty? What’s at stake? Our current president, Donald Trump, has nominated Betsy DeVos to head the Dept. of Education. Of course, the mainstream media hates her, which would indicate that she is the right person for the job. DeVos is a supporter of school choice. There are those that despise school choice and therefore despise DeVos and everything she stands for. You can read dozens of articles that point to the fact that she is very wealthy. It seems that wealth precludes you from Washington and serving people. I guess the preferred career track for many in Washington is to come to Washington poor and then leave filthy rich after fleecing the public. Those against DeVos also complain that she has never taught before. Neither did Arne Duncan, Obama’s head of ED. Duncan’s specialty was social engineering; he believes that education should be used as a tool for social justice. Probably why Duncan sends his children to private school. Those that have a problem with DeVos, a product of a privileged upbringing, had no problem with Duncan, a product of a privileged upbringing. Duncan could have ruled that school lunches would consist of cat feces rolled in broken glass and the Washington Post, NYTimes, and Huffington Post would have called it an ingenious take on sustainability, recycling, and nutrition for the 21st-century globalism that is on the horizon. Disregard the lunch menu and remember the social engineering. Let us get back to choices.
You Want Choices with that Burger?
If I wanted a hamburger, I could drive less than a mile and have my choice of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Five Guys, and numerous restaurants that serve hamburgers such as Berry Fresh, Cody’s, IHOP, Cheddar’s, Bob Evans and more. In the same town, we had to fight tooth and nail to expand a high-performing charter high school to include a middle school as well. Why is that? Why is the choice of school such a horrible and dangerous thing to some in this country? One, some politicians are supported by the teacher’s unions and organizations. Second, they prefer children indoctrinated with the ideas that they find acceptable. Start them off in grade school and finish them off in college. Teach them WHAT to think, not HOW to think. (Unfortunately, we see a lot of the finished product in the streets protesting things they are ill informed about. It reminds me of Greece when there was a threat of taking away some of their socialism.) This concept in social engineering is nothing new, and no one should be surprised. Here are some words of famous people in regards to education.
- “Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
- “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
- “The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions.”
- “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
The four men that understood how important it was to control education and credited with these four quotes are none other than Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, and Adolf Hitler, respectively. I dare say that those who oppose school choice find themselves in interesting company. A real, 100 percent voucher system, would allow parents to pick and choose the school that is best for their child. It will give low-income families the same opportunity for their children that high-income families have.
If you want to break the chain of generational poverty, you do so through education, not through handouts.
By supporting voucher systems, we support children. We give hope and promise to their hopes and their dreams. By supporting voucher systems, we support parents. No longer should they be left crying because they lost a lottery for a coveted seat in a local charter school. Crying as if their child missed a seat on the last lifeboat off the Titanic. Crying because they know that their children’s fate is all but sealed being forced to attend a failing inner city school. The same inner city schools that politicians have been promising to fix for years and years. By supporting voucher systems, we are taking steps to reduce poverty in the inner city. By supporting voucher systems, we support the innovation, creativity, and flexibility that only exists in the free market. So, I ask, those who do not support such a voucher system, whom do they support? It is certainly not the children. Call your Senator and tell them to confirm Betsy Devos, do it for the children. In parting, I will leave you with one last quote. This one by an American, Albert Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers, “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of the children.” Call your Senator.