STOSSEL: Let parents choose
As Virginia’s gubernatorial election drew to a close last week, Democrat Terry McAuliffe brought in teachers union president Randi Weingarten.
He thought that would help? I suppose he, like many progressives, believes everyone thinks the way he does.
“I’m not going to let parents come into schools and … make their own decisions,” he’d said. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
That’s the political attitude: Government runs things. We, the experts, know what’s best. Parents as “customers” who make choices? Nonsense.
Where did the money go? No one in the bureaucracy had a good answer. Governments make money … disappear.
I researched different education systems and did an ABC TV special called “Stupid in America.” It showed how American students do worse than kids in other countries.
I suggested that parental choice would help. After all, competition brought us better phones, cars, supermarkets, etc., while holding prices down. Competition forces providers to constantly try new things to please their customers. But not in government schools.
This year, most private and Catholic schools opened, while “public” (government-run) schools often stayed closed.
Monopolies kill innovation. When public schools began, most Americans worked on farms. That’s why schools took a summer break, so kids could help on the farm. Today, fewer than 2% of us work on farms, yet nearly every government school still takes the summer off.