Dismantle the large districts first…

Then dismantle the smaller ones.

When the Washington Post starts writing editorials like this, it can’t be long before more liberals start to see the light on education.

The Big Easy’s school revolution

But what really distinguishes New Orleans is how government has re­defined its role in education: stepping back from directly running schools and empowering educators to make the decisions about hours, curriculum and school culture that best drive student learning. Now, state and school-district officials mostly regulate and monitor — setting standards, ensuring equity and closing failing schools.

Rahm could just as easily shut down 125 S. Clark. Setting standards is ALL any state or city need do. Let 100s of new independent schools find the best way to meet those standards.

As for the teachers, once free of their unions’ golden handcuffs, they can find solace in once again being viewed as true professionals, and not the rent-seeking collectivized drones of the failed legacy system. From, the article…

One teacher I spoke with during a recent trip talked about the luxury of being pursued by different charter networks willing to pay for her talents. After 11 years of teaching, she said, it was the first time she felt she was being treated as a professional. I visited the classrooms of Sci Academy, where 99 percent of the students are minorities and 92 percent are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch. They have some of the city’s highest scores on statewide tests, and more than 90 percent of Sci Academy seniors have already been accepted to a four-year college or university.

Teachers need to realize that 100s of schools bidding for their talents is better than 4 or 5 districts doing the same. This bidding will eventually raise the pay of the most competent teachers. As for the rest, it shouldn’t be our problem.

Tune into my interview on WCRA – William Bence

Bruno Behrend interviewed on WCRA Radio by Morning Host William Bence. Topics include HB 2494, The Cartel Movie, Unions, and school choice in general.


MP3 File

I put on a school choice clinic in the San Fran. Chronicle

My colleague, Ben Boychuk, and I got a great editorial placed in the San Francisco Chronicle . It covers a recent CA lawsuit filed by people who think that more money will solve every education problem, as long as it ends up on the union pocket.

If you go there and read the comments, you can see how easy it is to defeat the weak arguments against school choice.

NJ Senate Passes Scholarships – Chris Christie the Honest

Two great videos for your viewing pleasure.

One is an example of the liberal media getting the story right on school choice. The other is Chris Christie telling it like it is. If America produces 100s or 1000s of these types of leaders, they could shift the nation back onto a proper axis. This is true, even if they were all served only one term.

Look everyone, I want you all to think about this as you join this fight for properly educating our children. Like the USSR and the segregationists in the South, the Teachers Unions will look strong right up to the point that they collapse. That is why you need to get involved. That is why you need to get in their face. This is why you must join us in beating on them mercilessly, as they deserve.

We are close to winning. Join the fight!

Gov Christie calls S-L columnist thin-skinned for inquiring about his 'confrontational tone'

____

Hundreds rally in support of school voucher bill

Because he’s evil?

Why is Obama killing off D.C.’s voucher program?

The Obama administration said it was going to respect science and respond to evidence — a contrast, many Democrats said, to the previous regime. So why is President Obama killing off the program that offers the best chance to find out if school vouchers work?

Congress has been paying for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helps more than a thousand District children attend private schools. It gives a chance of a future to children who otherwise would be condemned to attend failing schools. How can that be bad?

Generally, opponents offer two arguments. One is that it won’t solve the whole problem. Well, no. That’s why everyone should support what Chancellor Michelle Rhee is trying to do to improve all D.C. schools. But even she supports the scholarship program. She testified before the Senate last September that until her reforms have had a few more years to take root, she can’t guarantee a quality education to every District child. No wonder that every year there have been many more applicants for the vouchers than vouchers to give out.

Vouchers are the ultimate litmus test issue for liberals. If you are against them, you are a moral fraud. You aren’t intellectually honest, and you wish to protect the politically powerful (teacher’s unions) over the politically weak (poor families).

In this single issue, Barack Obama has exposed himself as a fraud and a liar.

With Teacher Unions in retreat, go for “Unconditional Surrender”

Then enforce dismantlement of their infrastructure.

I worry when a well-known conservative magazine writes an article praising the “courage” of an Teacher Union thug.

The Amazing Randi

In what could prove a turning point in favor of education reform, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten came out in favor of considering student performance on standardized tests as one part of teacher evaluations. If Weingarten turns her words into real actions, and if the teachers’ unions follow Weingarten’s lead, it will improve teacher quality across the country.

Please don’t buy this classic bait and switch. The Teacher Unions have been taking a bath in elections, where their usual litany of lies (“Chris Christie hates the children” or “We’ll have to abolish the curriculum if you don’t accede to our unsustainable spending on salaries”) aren’t working any more.

With their popularity dropping in light of obscene property taxes and pension piggery, they are pretending to “give” on some “reform” issues in the hopes that they can begin their campaign of lies as soon as the economy turns around again.

Don’t let them. There should be one goal, and one goal only in education reform. 100% fully funded scholarships for EVERY child, and a complete de-unionization of education. Let’s take a page from Rahm Emanuel’s playbook, and NOT LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE.

Use the current anger of the electorate to finally, aggressively, and relentlessly expose the teachers’ unions for the engines of greed and mediocrity that they truly are. Public Employee unionization has bankrupted entire states, and it is time unionization was pushed out of the public sector. Period.

Obama’s most disgusting act

Frankly, “disgusting” is too tepid a word. I think “evil” might be a tad too far, but if so, only by a little. That said, for those of us who knew from the beginning that Obama was nothing more than a well-spoken political hack for the extreme left, this single act proved us all correct.

Voices for Choice

Kevin Chavous is an African American and former Democratic city council member from Washington, D.C. He says he’s an Obama supporter, but he is distinctly unhappy with the president. Elections may have consequences, but no one expected that the White House would be so brazenly petty as to allow poor minority children in the nation’s worst school district to become the victims of political score-settling.

That’s exactly what happened when the Obama administration killed off the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program several months ago. Of course, if the White House thought that it could pay off the powerful teachers’ unions, and that the 750 kids in the program would be powerless to fight back, they made a serious miscalculation. Though Afghanistan, the economy, health care, and many other issues have been sucking up all the national-media oxygen, the school-choice efforts on the ground and in D.C. and in the halls of the Congress have been incessant and unyielding since the program was abruptly terminated.

The facts and events presented make an almost inarguable case for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program: The $7,500 vouchers cost about half of what it does to educate a student in D.C.’s dismal public schools; 36 percent of adults in D.C. are functionally illiterate; D.C. has the highest rate of child poverty in the country; the vast majority of D.C. residents are in favor of the program; a study earlier this year showed the program to be a success, but the Department of Education tried to squelch it. A prominent National Education Association teachers’-union leader explains why the powerful Democratic constituency protects the status quo in education: “It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.”

Once you hear their brazen bragging over their power, it becomes clear that there is no more moral political crusade than to strip these disgusting people (NEA, Teacher’s Unions, oily school superintendents, and the entire Government/Education Complex) of their political power.

As I’ve said many times, School Choice is possibly the most potent issue in stripping liberals of their absurd self-congratulation over “caring for the poor.” Any liberal who cares for the poor is compelled by logic to support school choice. If they don’t, they are either uninformed, hypocrites, or liars.

Obama hurts black children to help Unions

The headline below fails to point out that Obama is effectively killing the voucher program that is helping to better educate DC’s poor black kids.

Now that his kids go to Sidwell Friends, maybe he’s working to keep out the “riff raff.” Perhaps this qualifies as “acting white,” like so many of the soccer moms who supported him. Regardless, this exposes Obama for what he always was, a tool of the greedy interests behind the “Government Education Complex.”

Obama Offers D.C. Voucher Program Extension for Existing Students

The voucher program was created in 2003 and is a Republican favorite, providing low-income students with a maximum $7,500 grant to attend a private or parochial school. All students come from households with incomes below 185 percent of the poverty line, and 8,000 students entered a lottery to participate. But liberal education groups, including the National Education Association, have argued that the experimental program is poorly administered and that voucher recipients have not performed measurably better in their new schools.

In a March 6, 2009 letter to Obama, the NEA president Dennis Van Roekel called the D.C. program “an ongoing threat to public education in the District of Columbia” and urged Obama to “use your voice to help eliminate this threat” by opposing “any efforts to extend this ineffective program.”

As usual, the union hack lies, as the program was/is very effective at “public education” by removing kids from ineffective “Union controlled schools.”

America needs a “radical” party

Maybe they can run on the “radical” idea of effective, but limited, government.

As Barack Obama goes about the business of turning the USA into a patronage farm for old (teachers unions, trial lawyers) and new (Auto industry, Banking industry) constituencies – and thereby turning the nation into a banana republic – the rest of the world is going in the other direction.

The closet radical: The Spectator on David Cameron’s policy platform (The Spectator, 18th February 2009)

There is growing evidence that, within his recycled trainers, the Conservative leader’s toes twitch with nervous energy: that he may be a closet radical. This week’s Tory green paper on local government did not satisfy the most ardent localists and Simon Jenkins was certainly right in Wednesday’s Guardian that when politicians use the word ‘localism’ we should ‘count the spoons’. The package of Tory proposals does not resolve the fundamental problem of local governance in this country, which is that our town halls are completely dependent upon central government: 75 per cent of the money spent locally comes from the Treasury, the most centralised system of local government finance in Europe other than Ireland’s.

Nonetheless, the ending of Whitehall capping powers and the introduction of local referendums to enable residents to overturn bad budgets would be a very desirable transference of financial control from the mandarin to the man in the street. The removal of disincentives to build houses, the devolution of planning power, the plans to plough the fruits of local businesses back into the community, the proposed statutory presumption enabling town halls to act in the best interests of their voters, even if no specific legislation supports their actions: all these measures, if matched by serious political will, would be significant steps towards the growth of a genuine localist culture.

The Spectator has pressed, and will continue to press, for more grammar schools. But the Conservatives’ plan to adopt the Swedish model of independent schools, enabling parents, voluntary groups and businesses to establish their own educational establishments funded by vouchers, is a truly radical blueprint which we support wholeheartedly. The Swedish experiment has shown how the liberalisation of public services can triumph where top-down, centralised bureaucracies and targets have failed.

There is nothing radical about government programs to provide education or health care for the citizenry. There is nothing radical about turning money over to the citizenry for them to use as they see fit. Yet, people who propose such ideas are considered “radical.”

What SHOULD be considered radical, is that a class of corrupt politicians, corrupt corporations, and corrupt public employee unions have been allowed to loot the citizenry’s assets, income, and FUTURE assets and income, as far as the eye can see.

The rest of the world is moving (in fits and starts) toward where the US has pointed them. In the personage of Barack Obama and the party he leads, we Americans have decided to stop and/or move backwards.

God help us.