“Stupid In America”: An Analysis of The Greed Stricken Monopolies
In Jay Stossel’s editorial, “Stupid In America” Stossel addresses controversial and serious problems within the American public school system. He states how “school spending has gone through the roof and test scores are flat.” That education has remained the same throughout all these years since we first began measuring it in 1970. Stossel writes that this is “because K-12 education is a government monopoly and monopolies don’t improve.” Stossel explains how many attempts at reform have run into resistance and the biggest resistance has been from the teacher’s union. When George Parker was interviewed, when he headed the Washington, D.C. teachers union, and asked, “Why he fought a voucher program that let some kids escape failing government schools,” he said, "As kids continue leaving the system, we will lose teachers. Our very survival depends on having kids in D.C. schools so we'll have teachers to represent." Another former union president, Albert Shanker openly stated, “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” (Stossel 2011) Both of these brutally honest statements from the head leaders, at one time or another, of the teachers’ union supported their own selfish causes, and certainly not the concerns or well-being of the students. If spending has doubled, but the outcome of the test scores have slightly dropped since 1970, what does this say about our public school system and those “in charge” of it? What is it going to take to actually improve the education in public schools?
Stossel describes groups resistant to change, such as federations, alliances, departments, councils, boards, commissions, panels, and so on, all of which are called the “Blob”. The group with the most power is the teachers’ union. The “Blob” resists any type of competitive approach. The thought of competition amongst public schools, to give...
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