In America, we are having many issues with academia. From underperforming public schools in the inner cities to the ideological indoctrination of our colleges and universities; educational integrity has never been put into question until now.
Because for years education has become politicized. Teachers Unions and School Boards are hands crossed, just follow the money. While public schools are showing poor results, these school boards are hauling in money from the Teacher’s Unions. The children suffer the consequences, especially in the inner cities where the criminality rate is high. Unfortunately, low-income families are the demographic most hurt by this. Think about it. They do not have other options for better education and they lack the money and resources to go to better schools. How are these communities going to improve when this is all they have? The only solution to this problem is by giving these communities more options, not less. It only seems logical to do so because their education is not only on the line, but their futures are as well. School choice is necessary because parents should have the right to choose how their children should be educated, not government.
How does School Choice work?
It’s pretty simple. The tax dollars we pay for public education goes to the hands of parents with school-aged children. The state governments would give about 10% ($10,000) to these families in the form of a Voucher or Educational Savings account. This gives parents, not government the power to control their children’s education. With the money, they can choose whether to go to a public school from another district, charter or private school, homeschooling, or private tutoring. If they wish to continue with their local school, they can simply opt out of the program and their tax dollars will continue funding that school. While others may question its validity, many can agree that this is the way towards not only giving parents more choices and control, but also giving their children a better future. It’s not fair for a low-income family in the city to conform with a failing system that has only produced more problems, not solutions. Better education creates a more informed citizenry and creates a better economy. School choice also establishes a market for other schools, creating competition, which is currently dominated by the teacher’s unions.
Unfortunately, the majority of public schools are underperforming in basic Math and English. That fact is even more true in schools in the inner cities where tax dollars are higher, and the money spent all of a sudden cannot be tracked. In the largest School District in the Nation, New York City, just 29 percent of students scored at the appropriate grade reading level. In math, only one in three students meet state standards. In the City of Baltimore, where the crime and poverty rates are among the highest in the nation, high school graduates are just around 11 percent proficient in reading and 12 percent in math. Mind you, Baltimore spends $1.4 billion annually on education. Baltimore’s education spending accounts as the fourth highest of any municipality in the nation. In Illinois, a large number of suburban public schools are not making the grade. More than three-quarters of elementary school and high school students are at least one grade level behind in math and reading. This should be very concerning for every American. Comparing to other nations around the world, the United States ranks #38 in Math proficiency among teenage students. China ranked first in Math, Science and Reading proficiency according to the Program for International Student Assessment.
As a nation that used to be revered for its educational standards, this is embarrassing!
Some may say that in order to improve education we need to invest more in our public schools; that there is a lack of resources for students. Well, Gerard Robinson from the American Enterprise Institute and Professor Benjamin Scafidi from Kennesaw State University provide their take of the case: “education is important to the economic and social well-being of our nation, which is why it is the No. 1 line item in 41 state budgets. …Schools need extra money to help struggling students, or so goes the long-standing thinking of traditional education reformers who believe a lack of resources – teachers, counselors, social workers, technology, books, school supplies – is the problem. …a look back at the progress we’ve made under reformers’ traditional response to fixing low-performing schools – simply showering them with more money – makes it clear that this approach has been a costly failure.” The endless funding of our public schools has not improved anything.
Why haven’t our school boards addressed these academic issues? Why do our public schools keep failing?
The fact of the matter is, school boards have to comply with the teacher’s unions. What the union says is what the school board does, because when there is money, there is control. Basically, what the unions do is lobby for more money for more public-school employment. Meaning, more money for the school boards. Obviously, they have to comply to the big guys. Since the unions ‘own’ the School Boards, they get to put down the rules because it’s a contract. They don’t just get free money. There is no money being invested on improving curriculum, but for more public-school employment. Education will never be improved this way. And frankly, this is a system that will never change because their interests are too high. The teachers that have been employed the longest are the ones that they value more not because they are good teachers, but because they are the highest paid among the faculty; their union contributions are high. Which also means special protections for those teachers.
The California Teachers Association (CTA), which Troy Senik from City Journal argues as the worst union in America, has spent about $210 million over the last decade on political campaigning. The State of California which was regarded as a national standard in education during the 1950s and 60s, is now the likes of Mississippi and District of Columbia. The CTA has outspent the Pharmaceutical, Oil, and Tobacco industries combined. Now that is big money! All from its due paying members. The CTA has a document with instructions on creating massive riots, organize and mobilize people to the streets and block highways, and boycotting. Exemplifying traditional leftist tactics of mob rule. Here, Mr. Senik depicts a few of the many instances: “In 1991, the CTA took to the ramparts again to combat Proposition 174, a ballot initiative that would have made California a national leader in school choice by giving families universal access to school vouchers. When initiative supporters began circulating the petitions necessary to get it onto the ballot, some CTA members tried to intimidate petition signers physically. The union also encouraged people to sign the petition multiple times in order to throw the process into chaos.”
Special interests will do anything to get into their ways!
Now, for the ones who still think school choice is not a valid argument towards school reform; they are just misinformed and do not want to give at least some consideration. These people will criticize every aspect of school choice. Especially the Democrats, because the unions are the ones that heavily campaign and donate miilions to these democrat candidates, whether it be for local, state or federal offices. Remember that workers unions, irrespective of what industry they’re specialized on, they are enormous democrat entities that are filthy rich. They are part of party that can network across many sectors like big media and big tech. Their henchmen can easily create well established anti school choice campaigns. Using many different tyoes of ideological themes like classism and racial/gender equality. For example, they’ll say that the amount of money provided wouldn’t be enough and that school choice is too expensive and only meant for priveldged whites. Statements like these couldn’t be more false and only serve to support false narratives of societal grievance.
What happened to all of the money spent on ‘education’? Why do students keep failing? What answers do these corrupt schools boards have to concerned parents?
Democrats and Teacher’s Unions have no accountability. If they haven’t improved public education since, what would make you believe they would now? Chances are they never will, because believe it or not, they do not care about the issue! This can’t be more clearer.
Remember, school choice was created to destroy the corrupt educational system and put parents first, not unions. This also puts a priority on kids, not school employment. There are unique cases involving every child’s needs, because not every classroom setting is the best for each student. Some students are talented but are low income, so they deserve to be in a class setting that benefits them. Others need more time and dedication because they have trouble learning, so they can go to a school that fits their needs.
By providing parents the money for their child’s educational expenses, the parents will capitalize the money a lot more than our public schools. And by giving parents the money, that gives them a sort of personal power to control their children’s education. They can now go to the school of their choice, giving other schools a market; which is currently dominated by the teacher’s unions.
Since there would be a good number of parents taking their kids out of these failing schools, that would spark competition between schools. They would also have to up their game and really focus on what they need to improve. Since special interests own the schools, they own the curriculum. Which is why there is also a lot of ideological material in these schools. Schools that we pay for with our taxes and also give a salary to the public officials in charge of the school boards. The money we provide is never noticed, never seen to be put into good use.
School Choice provides opportunities to low-income families, especially to Blacks and Hispanics. With these funds, they can go to better schools and after-school programs, like STEM. Minorities are the most hit when it comes to these failing inner-city schools. Most of the students with low proficiency levels of Math and Reading are Blacks and Hispanics.
Well-known political commentator, Juan Williams said in The Wall Street Journal, “For Black and Hispanic students falling behind at an early age, their best hope is for every state, no matter its minority-student poverty rate, to take full responsibility for all students who aren’t making the grade—and get those students help now. That means adopting an attitude of urgency when it comes to saving a child’s education. Specifically, it requires cities and states to push past any union rules that protect underperforming schools and bad teachers. Urgency also means increasing options for parents, from magnet to charter schools. Embracing competition among schools is essential to heading off complacency based on a few positive signs. American K-12 education is in trouble, especially for minority children, and its continuing neglect is a scandal.”
As for low-income families, school choice gives them the necessary economic help to bridge the gap between poverty and educational inequality. Most private schools, depending on which you sign up for, cost about $10,000, the same amount as most school choice programs provide. It’s not fair for poor children to keep being taught in a system that has proven over and over again, it’s failure. This creates systemic issues for the future of low income and minority children. These are the real issues that these people are facing, not the fake narratives the media keeps telling you. These children are prone to being in unsafe environments like: school fights, bullying, harassment, and criminal activity, just to name a few. If education and proper parenting fails, then these kids will fall into bad influences.
To conclude, school choice should be the new standard in K-12 education. Low-income families should not have to conform with a failed system of public schooling. Also, many school boards and teachers’ unions are infamously corrupt and only care about their pockets, instead of improving student’s education and lives. There are many parents advocating for school choice across America because they want better education.
I have seen myself, the lack of incompetence from my school district. They only care what benefits them by holding office and cashing in. Parents and students should advocate for school choice because it is the best way to show that we have had enough with failing education, lack of accountability, corruption, imposing regulations and policies, ideological curriculum, and playing with our children’s futures. We as taxpaying Americans should demand more transparency and results from our public institutions.
We have some work to do with our educational system, because it’s not just kids and teenagers failing Math and English, but there is a complete disregard in the teaching of US Civics. This is the perfect setting for the radical democrats who are pushing for Critical Race Theory and BLM activism clubs, and guess what? Your local school boards and Teacher’s Unions are fully enforcing these and most likely will be your school’s upcoming curriculum plan for the fall. Not to mention what will be on your college curriculum if you are a college student.
Luckily, parents have been expressing their outrage of not only the never-ending school lockdowns but also these race-baiting ideologies in public school board meetings. It is about time that parents and kids demonstrate their frustrations.
- Mitchell, Daniel J. “The Failure of Public Schooling in One Chart | Daniel J. Mitchell”. Fee.Org, 2016, https://fee.org/articles/the-failure-of-public-schooling-in-one-chart/.
- Otis, Ginger Adams et al. “NY Daily News – We Are Currently Unavailable in Your Region”. Nydailynews.Com, 2015, https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/2-in-3-city-students-not-meeting-math-state-standards-article-1.2148748.
- Policy, Illinois. 2014, https://www.illinoispolicy.org/not-as-good-as-you-think-illinois-underperforming-schools/. Accessed 10 Nov 2020.
- Senik, Troy. “The Worst Union in America”. City Journal, 2012, https://www.city-journal.org/html/worst-union-america-13470.html.
- Williams, Armstrong. “Baltimore’s Failing Schools Are A Tragedy of Criminal Proportions”. The Hill, 2017, https://thehill.com/opinion/education/350315-baltimores-failing-schools-are-a-tragedy-of-criminal-proportions.
- Image from truthout.org