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Instead of siding with the poor and downtrodden, however, most liberal writers sided with the powerful and privileged teachers’ unions. As Sally Kohn wrote recently in Salon, “The teachers and teachers’ unions who work in these districts to try to help are part of the solution. Poverty, homelessness and the dramatic funding cuts to social services that help needy families, as well as the cuts to public education, are the problem.”
Liberals used to insist that every child deserves a great education. Now, thanks to their closeness with unions that protect an arcane education system built on an industrial labor-union model, liberals are saying that we can’t help poor kids until we eliminate poverty and create Nirvana. Haven’t they seen the great success of Catholic and charter schools in tough urban areas? Why are these union advocates so willing to leave so many poor kids behind?
Americans should applaud Emanuel’s willingness to take on the Chicago teachers union, regardless of the final details. But only real solution to the nation’s failing school model is to break it up and create a system based on competition and incentives.