Education "The Cartel" Director Bob Bowdon on Education Reform


Bob Bowdon's new film The Cartel amply documents that waste and fraud in public education. Now playing in select cities, the documentary provokes outrage and action to fix a system that fails precisely the low-income students who most need the benefits of a strong education.

Go here for info and background on The Cartel and Bowdon, who also hosts the PBS show Two-Way Street and appears in videos for The Onion.'s Nick Gillespie talked with Bowdon recently in Washington, D.C. Shot by Dan Hayes and Meredith Bragg, who also edited the piece. Approximately 7 minutes.

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  1. I really want to see The Cartel, but I know I’m just going to be pissed off the whole way through.

  2. I know you guys hate public schools, but do you really have to pretend that it’s because they don’t serve lower-class kids very well?

    Besides, if private schools are so great, why aren’t they taking in all the lower class kids?

    1. Do you always have to be so antagonistic? If you can’t frame your comments in constructive terms, please just shut up.

      1. “Besides, if private schools are so great, why aren’t they taking in all the lower class kids?”

        Maybe because everyone’s money goes to supporting crappy public schools whether their kids go their or not.

        Institute a full voucher system, and watch how many kids get transffered.

    2. Possibly because by defintion “lower class” kids don’t have the financial means to afford a private education, and private schools are often private businesses that have to operate profitably… Douchebag.

      Riddle me this dip-shit…

      If public schools are so great why are they afraid of vouchers and competition?

    3. You can’t be this dense.

  3. Had mexican food and cheap beer last had. I’ve had Dan T all day as a result.

    1. I don’t think that’s the real Dan T. If it’s not a parody, then he’s moved deep into unintentional self-parody.

      1. It’s him. It has the right air of unbreechable ignorance and non sequitur nonsense.

        1. Who? I only see Danny DeVito.

          1. “I see short people.”

            1. Hey!

              … Hobbit

  4. Wow, never really thought about it that way before amazing.


  5. School choice is *a* solution, but *the* solution. There is no one fix for education because different LEAs have different challenges.

    1. Choice is the only alternative to “no choice”.

      School choice is not THE solution, but an opening to finding solutions.

  6. Getting rid of the unions involved in public education would be a good first step in fixing the system.

    After that, educational corruption is mostly a function of the overall corruption of big city governments. Turning off the money spigot from state and federal sources would help dry that up.

    Ultimately, however, education starts at home, and there is no type of schooling that can get around that. If kids don’t come to school valuing education, there is no system out there that can provide them an education, at any price.

    1. “If kids don’t come to school valuing education, there is no system out there that can provide them an education, at any price”

      I don’t know, I bet a strict cathloic school with public beatings could motivate them, lol

  7. Bob Bowdon? He was a great coach twenty years ago.

    1. Never could get past Miami though. Shoulda bought himself a kicker.

      1. Bought plenty of other things. Always amazed me what FSU got away with. Not that my school had clean hands. Not that any major program has clean hands. Even if the administration and coaches are pure, rich alumni aren’t.

        1. So what if Deion Sanders never went to class? It’s not like this is school or anything.

          1. I truly believe that colleges should offer degrees in football, basketball, etc.

            For the sake of diversity.

            1. I’m serious. They offer degrees in music. Graduates with music degrees don’t all become professional musicians. They become music teachers, sound engineers, agents, etc.

              It would be beneficial to those that go pro to have taken courses in sports contracts, money management, public relations, etc.

              I would contend that the reason we don’t take this approach is due to the elite’s irrational hatred of jocks.

              1. I think they should take the kids out of school altogether. The only relationship with the universities then would be (1) venue and (2) some licensing arrangements. And no, I don’t think the schools should own these teams, either.

                The kids would, of course, get paid in this model. If they want to be students as well, more power to them.

        2. Boomer Sooner, baby! Ohhh… never mind.

  8. Fully Vouchered, Parent Qualified Education. Fully Vouchered means that all students are vouchered for any school they want to attend and that even public schools must function with vouchered funds (they get no other funds). Parent Qualified means that parents decide if a school is qualified to educate their children and the federal, state and local government bodies have no say in which schools may receive vouchers for educational purposes (although there may be a requirement that they have 60 students or some such).

    1. There is no question that this is the best possible approach to systemic education. The only parties who oppose are the entrenched unions. There’s not a single parent who wouldn’t take this deal if available. That’s all there needs to be said on the matter.

    2. “Parent Qualified” seems like nice idea until you realize what’s going on in Texas with textbooks (yes, I know it’s the local government’s doing, but it’s fueled by “concerned parents’). They’re a lot of smart kids out there, but when I was young, and had the choice of where to go for an education, I probably would’ve chosen the school that had the longest recess period.

      Honestly, I think we can learn from the rest of the industrialized world on this one: started cutting/cleaning up the federal education budget, and make sure money that’s meant for teachers goes to teachers.

  9. Federal control has improved everything it has touched…

    1. King Mightass — everything he touches turns into shit.

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