Quote Of The Day

“So the schools have a gigantic, powerful bargaining bloc. Who doesn’t have a bargaining bloc? The kids. Of course, the customers of corporations don’t bargain with unions either–but they have the right of exit, which is what prevents the unions (or their corporate bosses) from turning them upside down and shaking them until the last nickel falls out of their pockets. Unsurprisingly, the schools in this country that function worst are the ones where the kids have no realistic ability to exit. So for whom are those schools run? The teacher’s unions, the principal’s unions, the janitor’s unions, the friends and relations of people with seats on the school board. The children have the least powerful voice. Which is why, as far as I can tell, every single thing that is proposed by any of these groups “for the children” has the primary side effect of employing more teachers/janitors/principals, paying same more, or making their jobs more pleasant.” — Megan McArdle, discussing the overwhelming power unions have in education and the hope that Democrats might be tempted to fight against it

3 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • I did some work as an educational consultant a couple of years ago. During the first meeting with teachers at whatever school hired me, I would lead them through a fairly standard exercise of having them write down their major concerns at the school.
    Next, I would create two columns with the headings of “student concerns” and “teacher concerns.” I would place the items in the appropriate column. The student column would be short and the teacher list would be quite long. Getting them off their list and focusing on the student list was an exercise in futility until I addressed a least a couple of items on their list.
    These teachers are the same folks that are the union stalwarts. These are also the same folks that started up the hue and cry about how awful NCLB testing was “for the children.” What they are really opposed to is the accountability that comes when they actually have to show some results. Regardless of how flawed NCLB may be, or what testing measure is used (indeed each state utilizes a different test), teacher union objections are more about what is best for teachers than what is best “for the children.”

  • Thanks for chiming in gsarcs! This is one of the many reasons why I am a big voucher supporter – give the kids the ability to leave failing schools. So easy to understand – yet so hard for liberals to accept.

    Thanks again!

  • The L.A. teachers union are the largest obstacle to creating more Gree-Dot charter schools in the LAUSD. It’s the teacher’s union controlling votes for any politican who wants to support more charter schools.

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