"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, January 09, 2006

John Stossel on Education? Give Me A Break

Millions of Americans who tune in this Friday night to ABC's 20/20 will hear how public school is a union dominated monopoly and the only way to fix that is by injecting some good old competition into the system.

In this special report:
"Stupid In America: How We Are Cheating Our Kids" Friday, January 13 10-11 p.m., millions of Americans will be treated to a prime time hour of public school bashing. According to Stossel, competition is the key to once and for all ending this monopoly. By the time viewers are subjected to the horrifying stories of how unions protect child predators and the lousy teachers who are responsible for making their children stupid, Klein and Bloomberg's plan for privatization and more charter schools should be a slam dunk.

Here's a clip:

Some say another stumbling block is that the public school system is a union-dominated monopoly. In Stossel's hometown of New York City, a teacher who sent sexual e-mails to his 16-year-old student was not fired because the union's rigid contract makes it very hard to fire any teacher, even dangerous ones. Only after six years of expensive litigation were they finally able to fire him. Joel Klein, chancellor of New York City's chools, tells Stossel, "I mean we've had sex cases, acknowledged sex cases...you can't fire him." The teacher union has so many protections written into the contract to make sure principals don't fire unfairly, or play favorites, that principals rarely even try to jump through all these hoops to try to fire a bad teacher."
How about injecting some competition into the government controlled media so the American public can get some factual information on how the No Child Left Behind Act is damaging our children and our schools.


  1. Could you please detail the ways in which the government controls the media and stifles media competition?

  2. Anonymous8:07 AM

    See Salon's piece on Stossel as well as FAIR's index of reports on Stossel. (Yep, he deserved an entire page.)

  3. "Injecting competition into government controlled media???"
    I hate to tell you this Judy, but it's nonsensical thinking like in edu-land that gave rise to NCLB in the first place. Just in case you don't know, competition built the railroads, it got us to the moon, it makes our farmers the best in the world, and even made the GOVERNMENT post office better when Fed Ex came along.
    You likely hate dodgeball too cuz someone wins and someone loses.


  4. Anonymous11:33 AM

    The 20/20 program on failing schools is only one side of the story and many facts are left out! First of all, the government does not have a MONOPOLY on education. Anyone can move to another school district if they don't like the schools they are assigned to. In addition they can go to private shools if its affordable. Also, the program IGNORED the fact that so many charter schools FAIL, and students from many charter schools are far behind those in public schools. Also, they portrayed teachers as lazy and uncaring! NOT TRUE. As in any profession there are lazy and uncaring teachers who would rather spend their days doing something else, but THIS IS THE WAY IT IS IN EVERY WORKPLACE! AND most teachers don't work 6.5 hour days as stated in the show. MOST TEACHERS WORK AT LEAST 8-10 hours a day preparing and grading AND THEY DON'T GET PAID FOR IT! They usually don't get paid to set up classrooms or come to meetings or other school activities either!

  5. Anonymous10:25 AM

    The post above mine is a teacher.. no doubt.

    Move to another school district? How is thatg fair? The cost to buy, sell and then move? You're nuts. Throwing money at schools does not work.

  6. Anonymous4:49 PM

    I'm a teacher and anyone who is not a teacher needs to walk in my shoes for a week before they slam public schools and teachers. This includes Stossel. It is a very rewarding but demanding job that takes a very special and caring person.