Video: Pushing Back Against Teachers Unions

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union are locked in bitter negotiations over the fate of the city's schools. Under the threat of a the first city-wide teachers strike in 25 years, Emanuel has joined a growing list of politicians pushing back against union demands. Reason TV reported on the fraying union support while covering NBC's Education Nation conference back in 2010.  

Here is the original text from the Oct. 1, 2010 video:

Now that the final bell has rung on NBC's week-long Education Nation conference, we can ask the extra credit question: When did school choice go mainstream?

The "summit," held at NBC's New York studios at Rockefeller Center, almost felt like a publicity junket for "Waiting for Superman," a highly praised new documentary advocating for charter schools. A national TV audience watched as D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee chewed out teachers union honcho Randi Weingarten for spending $1 million in campaign funds to halt Rhee's reform agenda. Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski took a shot at Weingarten for resisting merit pay for teachers. And what to make of former Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi working to promote National School Choice Week, slated for January 2011?

Will Democrats turn their newfound zeal for school choice into policies that actually banish unions from the classroom and empower parents and students? Reason.tv's Michael Moynihan went to Education Nation to find out.
Produced by Jim Epstein and Michael Moynihan, with help from Joshua Swain. Approximately 4.15 minutes.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Democrats, to their credit, increasingly - it's still by no means the majority - have slowly but surely gotten religion when it comes to school choice."

    I would like to believe that. Certainly that's not reflected in leadership, and it won't be reflected in policy so long as the teachers unions have so many member dues to contribute to campaigns.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah I'll believe it when I see it. In the last 20 years the NEA has given 28.7 billion dollars to the Democrats. The AFT has given 27.4 billion. That buys a shitload of loyalty, even from the most cowardly and backstabbing group of humanity: the politicians.

  • Apostate Jew||

    Where did you get those figures?

    As far as I can tell, the NEA has an entire budget of about 350 million a year making your figure impossible.

  • califernian||

    I don't see it. To a man (or woman) every single dem I know thinks it would not only ineffective but IMMORAL to allow parents to choose their child's education. This is who we are dealing with.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Federal and State laws require public Schools.

    Conservative Libertarians that believe all taxes are theft and that there should be no public schools may love the following idea.

    Instead of vouchers, brick-mortar schools, board of education,teachers unions etc, we should have the following:

    1. Close all Public Schools
    2. Hire Twelve teacher in the entire USA for each grade
    3. Have that teacher record the daily class
    4. Broadcast that class on PBS
    5. Fire the twelve teachers after the 1st year and replay the tapes every year afterwards.

    For those poor parents without TVs, they can have TVs in the basement of the local City Hall.

    Parents that can't afford send their kids to private schools can catch TV on PBS.

    For those kids that require additional attentions, hire an illegal Mexican to tie the kid to the chair in front of the TV broadcasting school, clip their eyelids open like they did to the guy in "A Clockwork Orange", and have the Mexican woman apply eyedrops until the class is over.

    God Bless Libertarian America.

  • Virginian||

    Ms. Bowie, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no internets, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Perhaps I went a bit far with the clockwork orange thing.

    However, I can see the scott walkers of the USA considering the PBS thing.

  • Virginian||

    The fact of the matter is that public school has utterly failed. For the cost of my city's public school system, we could send every student into one of the best local private schools.

    How the fuck could you possibly maintain that people wouldn't be educated without public schools? I mean what kind of blatant historical ignorance would it take to deny that people were educated very well indeed before there was compulsory schooling. That kind of blind obliviousness to historical fact can only come from being the product of a public school.

    The saddest, most pathetic thing about those who defend the public schools is that they are the brainwashed products of that same system. It's like watching North Koreans cheering for the Dear Leader.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Yes Virginia...there is such thing as a good PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.

    The Public Systems that work are the ones paid for by the Parents. In NY and NJ we have amazing public schools in our suburbs...where the parents pay a lot of tax dollars and participate.

    In the inner cities, the parents don't play a great role, so, the administrators of those schools fleece the place.

  • Virginian||

    You mean like the parents who I can watch pleading to God that their kids win a charter school lottery? And then crying in joy when their kid wins? Those parents don't care?

    But yeah, 50 years of governmental policy destroying lower class families and support networks...turns out it has negative effects. Who would have thunk it?

    Just as long as everything is ok in your little white suburbs. But remember, liberals aren't racist.

  • califernian||

    "The Public Systems that work are the ones paid for by the Parents. In NY and NJ we have amazing public schools in our suburbs...where the parents pay a lot of tax dollars and participate."

    These are the very people who don't need publicly provided education. They are being fleeced as well.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I pay $22k in property taxes ... which are effectively school taxes.

    I have two daughters and it costs $12k year to educate a child in my district.

    Yes, I'm fleecing my neighbors for the $2K.

  • califernian||

    No, you are being fleeced.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Except that your kids go to school for 12 years (which is part of the problem, but I digress) while you pay property taxes for 50 years.

    So you're paying approx 1.1 million dollars and receiving 288,000 dollars 'worth' of education in exchange.

    So even by your own standards you're being fleeced.

    And the fact is that 12 years of schooling is entirely arbitrary. $12,000 per year is the inflated cost of an arbitrary system, and the quality has been degrading over time.

    It's a failure all around.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 9.2.12 @ 7:46PM |#
    "Yes Virginia...there is such thing as a good PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM."
    Blind squirrels, acorns.
    Yes you can find one or two; problem is we pay for all of them.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Ms. Bowie, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read.

    Virginian, meet Alice.

    To be fair, she can't imagine anything other than a completely socialized school system because her education was the product of the same, failed system.

    The cognitive dissonance displayed when it comes to socialized education is simply incredible. Alice truly believes that without the government, we'll call them the "good" people, doing things, they won't get done. All the poor people who are at this very moment receiving an education provided by others could never get others to pay for an education for their children unless they have a government gun to their head. There is no charity except through the coercion of the ballot box. All those who could easily afford to pay for their children's education also couldn't be expected to do so, because they really need the latest smart phone, or something.

    Public schools are not utterly failed. They perform exactly as they are intended. Teach human beings to be sheep. Keep them ignorant and fed. Stroke their egos and their intellects will never develop.

  • Alice Bowie||

    That's really not true. And BTW, I really can afford to send my daughters to expensive private schools. In the district I'm in, it costs about $12k per child. THe the ghetto neighborhoods, it cost anywhere from $24k to $35k per kid. That's because there are so many administrators in the board of ED.

    In the more affluent suburbs, we control the board as they are elected officials. We have better control of what is going on.

    I would be perfectly fine with you guys getting rid of the public schools in your neighborhood.

    I have two children, I pay $22k per year in property taxes. Yes, someone else is paying the other $2k. Me and many other people are fine with paying for other people's kids to go to school. I believed this even before I had kids.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I would be perfectly fine with you guys getting rid of the public schools in your neighborhood.

    Alice, Alice, Alice. Why would I care? I forgo a full time job and a considerable salary because it is a shitty parent who leaves the education of his children to union "educators". Since my children are my personal responsibility, so is their education.

    Yes, someone else is paying the other $2k. Me and many other people are fine with paying for other people's kids to go to school.

    Of course you are. The whole point is how evil people are when it comes to the claims of "public schools". It isn't for the poor, but people like yourself. Gotta have that extra car, vacation, TV etc. and if you can steal a couple grand from your neighbors, why not?

  • ||

    Holy shit. 22k in property taxes most of which is for schools? That is stunning. Alice, I pay less than 2k per year and the public school system here is as good as any in the country.

    Lady you are getting reamed bad. I bet you look funny when you walk.

  • Alice Bowie||

    If we were to depend on the "Charity" from the assholes that are too stingy for fund public education, then yes, I'm for forcing people to pay.

  • califernian||

    You know that there is a HUGE difference between the options of running government schools vs. subsizing the poor right?

    If you're so worried about the poor getting educated, why are you opposed to giving them money for it? Are you an elitist who is afraid they won't choose the *right* schools?

    The arguments against public schools cover a lot of ground and the charity aspect is the LEAST objectionable.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 9.2.12 @ 8:35PM |#
    "If we were to depend on the "Charity" from the assholes that are too stingy for fund public education, then yes, I'm for forcing people to pay."
    Why not just pull a gun, sleaze-bag?

  • Virginian||

    Because she doesn't have the guts.

    A crack addicted mugger is braver then a statist.

  • Mr Whipple||

    If we were to depend on the "Charity" from the assholes that are too stingy for fund public education,

    You mean the politicians? Yes, they are stingy bastards. They only toss you enough to keep you coming back for more. It's called "job security".

  • Mr Whipple||

    Alice Bowie

    What's this "we" shit?

    Obviously, you still have a lot to learn about libertarianism.

  • califernian||

    Just get rid of the public schools altogether. For god's sake, it's so freakin obvious.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I'm all for kicking upper middle class and affluent people out of the public schools as you people proposed.

    But how about this for a compromise. Let's get rid of all Federal Mandates for education and let the states decide how to handle education. Is that a fair compromise.

    This way, you guys can get rid of public schools that are clearly not working in your states and we can keep ours in our districts. Or, in districts where it doesn't work, we can seek other solutions.

    I just don't want your imposing your will on us...and we shouldn't be imposing our wills on you.

    States RIGHTS

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 9.2.12 @ 8:16PM |#
    "This way, you guys can get rid of public schools that are clearly not working in your states and we can keep ours in our districts.[...]
    I just don't want your imposing your will on us...and we shouldn't be imposing our wills on you."
    You realize, of course, that *your* will is imposed by firearms, don't you?
    How kind of you, asshat.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Gee, no comments here? Why.

    A bunch of insults above. The fact is I'm fine with you folks wanting to live in a state or district that has no public schools. You are free to either pay for the poor to attend your child's schools or have them segregated in another school that you offer vouchers or whatever for.

    I'm suggesting that there happen to be many people in America that believe in public education that have and don't have kids. Let the states decide. In fact, they do.

    In Greenville, South Carolina where my father-in-law lives they have real shitty public schools and non-existent school tax. Those who have money send their kids to private schools and those who can't afford it or are unaware of school quality send their kids to public.

    In NJ and NY, we pay for private schools or send our kids to public schools. We research our schools and live in the appropriate neighborhood. I chose to live in a place that ranked 11th in NY State. School taxes are high and so is the quality of schools. It is not a town for people with NO Kids that don't believe in paying for other people's kids to be educated.

    I could have moved to Jersey City, paid real low taxes and sent my kids to private school.

    I want the choice and we don't need you people eliminating choices.

    But simply put, if only those with kids had to pay (voucher or no voucher), it would be higher than making everyone pay. I say let the states and districts residents decide.

  • Sidd Finch||

    What metric(s) are you using to determine school quality?

  • Alice Bowie||

    # and % of HS students attending IVY League and 4yr colleges.

    Lower grades based on % of kids passing standardized tests.

    And the race thing. Low growth of blacks/latinos and high growth trend of asian/indian.

    What metrics do u use ?

  • Sevo||

    And this justifies the use of guns to force others to pay for your kids' education, right, sleaze-bag?

  • Sidd Finch||

    All of those are measuring student quality, which is only slightly correlated with teacher quality. When you say "In Greenville, South Carolina where my father-in-law lives they have real shitty public schools," you're really saying that Greenville has shitty students.

    There's a funny dynamic where teachers unions and ed schools sold people on the idea that highly educated professional teachers could make kids really super smart. When that didn't work out professional Kids Are The Future types allied with anti-union advocates and fundies to pooh pooh the unions, using their logic, and proclaimed themselves the ones that will make kids really super smart.

    Over here in reality, there's a ton of research showing that parents and teachers don't much matter, but peers do. So get your kids to schools with high college matriculation. Don't kid yourself though, that good school or district isn't doing anything different than the shitty ones.

  • ||

    Thinking back on my own education and the education of my peers, parents do in fact matter quite a bit. The main difference I noticed between intelligent and not so intelligent children was that the smarter ones read books frequently and at a young age, while the others didn't. Giving your kid some good books early on is probably more important than where your school is or who the teachers are.

  • Sidd Finch||

    The main difference I noticed between intelligent and not so intelligent children was that the smarter ones read books frequently and at a young age, while the others didn't.

    If they also touched hot surfaces less frequently, I think we might have ourselves a pattern.

  • Sidd Finch||

    libertarian approved!

    We've needlessly turned parenting into an unpleasant chore. Parents invest more time and money in their kids than ever, but the shocking lesson of twin and adoption research is that upbringing is much less important than genetics in the long run. These revelations have surprising implications for how we parent and how we spend time with our kids. The big lesson: Mold your kids less and enjoy your life more. Your kids will still turn out fine.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Giving your kid some good books early on is probably more important than where your school is or who the teachers are.

    Head Start: a stunning success according to heller's recollection of his early childhood

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 9.2.12 @ 11:07PM |#
    "I want the choice and we don't need you people eliminating choices."

    You want the "choice" to force others, at gun-point, to support your choice, right, sleaze bag?

  • Alice Bowie||

    Sevo stop that.

    I said let the residents of the state/district choose.

    Not just for schools, you can choose to live in a town where you don't have to pay for the police/firemen and pay a-la-carte for fires and hire private security.

    Why should someone put a gun to your head to pay for the police department?

    But, If i chose to live in a place where the citizens to collectively pay for some services what's it to you ?

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 9.2.12 @ 11:55PM |#
    "Sevo stop that."
    Awfully sorry to keep pointing out that you're in the business of using thugs to provide your "choice". If that doesn't qualify as a sleaze-baq, I have no idea what would, sleaze-bag

    "I said let the residents of the state/district choose."
    Yes, chose to use guns to force others to support their choice, sleaze-bag.
    Are you truly so stupid as to not realize what you're posting?

  • Alice Bowie||

    you are just stupid pointing out the same point.

    Is someone putting a gun to your head to pay for the police?

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 9.2.12 @ 11:59PM |#
    "you are just stupid pointing out the same point."
    You truly are that stupid!

    "Is someone putting a gun to your head to pay for the police?"
    Yes.

  • Mr Whipple||

    But, If i chose to live in a place where the citizens to collectively pay for some services what's it to you?

    Does it require the use of a gun? I am all for voluntary societies. But what I think you suggest is majority rule, (AKA mob rule). The tyranny of the majority is just as bad as the tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I've made it clear that I'm ok with getting rid of all Fed Mandates for education. I'm even ok iwth getting rid of State mandates and letting districts or neighborhoods decide for their residents.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 9.2.12 @ 11:57PM |#
    ..."letting districts or neighborhoods decide for their residents."

    How kind of you!
    How about letting the residents decide for themselves rather than pulling a gun?

  • Alice Bowie||

    We do this by voting.

    When I say let the residents decide, I mean lift the mandates, and take a vote.

    Unless you no longer believe in democracy?

    What are you trying to say. That we should have state constitutional amendments outlawing the sharing of goods and services? I say YES.

    And you can move to the state that has such constitution. I'll like in the states that don't

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 9.3.12 @ 12:02AM |#
    ..."Unless you no longer believe in democracy?"

    Ah, here we have it! "Democracy" as an end in itself, allowing 50+% of the population to steal from 50-%.
    Sorry, Alice, you just failed in civics.

  • Alice Bowie||

    u r the one that failed civics.

    Depending on the state, you'll need more than merely 50% of popular vote for a constitutional amendment.

    ANd, whatever state u live in, you can rouse up the legislature to propose such an amendment. If you lose, you lose.

    If you don't like it, move to a dictatorship where they share similar opinions.

    I'm for even having states with dictators. Let the states decide. You can even run for governor.

    Listen, my plane here. Nice talking to you. We'll catch up tomorrow on this or the next thread.

    SEVO for SHAH !!!

  • ||

    How exactly is a big mob of people stealing from you better than one guy stealing from you?

  • Marshall Gill||

    It's like, totally different!

  • Sevo||

    "SEVO for SHAH !!!"
    Alice for the GOLD in the stupid event! Way to go Alice.
    That sound you heard was the point going right on by you. But given your stupidity, as evidenced by this wonderful award, it's not surprising.
    What a jackoff!

  • babylissirons||

  • Mr Whipple||

    Mr "Earache My Eye" needs some lessons on morality and ethics.

    He is just another Collectivist scum that believes individuals exist for society and society exists for him.

    FUCK OFF, SLAVER.

  • califernian||

    I never thought anyone could display more idiocy than T O N Y or joe but here she is, taking the gold in a surprise come by behind. WOW

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