“Tough” education reforms?

Posted on October 5, 2010

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Chris Christie, is making a real effort to change New Jersey’s uniquely disastrous public school system in which some of the worst districts in America are spending as much as $400K per classroom per year for glorified child prison. But how signifcant is this new “tough love” reform?

Determined to turn New Jersey’s education system on its head, Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday unveiled a tough-love reform package that will make classroom achievement — not seniority or tenure — the basis for pay hikes and career advancement in Garden State public schools.

Christie is turning his take-no-prisoner’s style to the classroom, demanding a top to bottom overhaul of how New Jersey students learn and teachers teach. And that means undoing tenure, seniority and other union work rules.

Meh. These aren’t major reforms. Test teachers? Fine. End seniority-based raises. Of course. That these are deemed radical or “tough love” just goes to show you what an utterly absurd fantasy land of pure failure the public school system has become. The teachers unions have so insulated their membership from reality that the mere tincture of accountability or personal responsibility at the workplace is treated as if they’re being sent to the gulag. It’s insane.

Luckily, I believe the tide is changing. We have three new films, The Cartel, The Lottery and Waiting for Superman which all lay bare the evil that are the teacher’s union mobsters and advocate school choice in some form. These films, whose filmmakers are respectively libertarian, a-political and liberal, all reach the same conclusion. School choice and vouchers are now being advocated most strongly by inner-city mayors like Cory Booker in Newark. Black leaders are now among the most vocal advocates for school choice.

The message is clear, unequivocal and bi-partisan: public school unions are the enemy of our kids and are a force for selfishness and evil in the civil rights battle of the 21st century. School choice is the new consensus for progress among those who actually care about our children and our nation’s future.

Charter schools are rhetorically popular but they are still a half-measure that will likely be crushed by the unions if they get too popular, since they are still government schools funded by top-down management subject to political intervention. In an ideal world, there would be no government involvement in education whatsoever. But leaving such a pure position aside, I believe that we need to institute state-wide school vouchers. It works in Sweden. Make them 8 to 10K per student with no restrictions on their use. Spin off the public schools so that they must live or die based on the revenues they are able to take in from vouchers, tuition and private grants alone.

Again. School vouchers work in Sweden. The GI Bill was a voucher system. Consumer choice and competition are the foundation of innovation and progress in everything and there is absolutely NOTHING preventing these market forces from revolutionizing education in America.

via Papola

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Posted in: Education System