Education

Elizabeth Warren Is a Teachers Union Pet   

Despite costing less to educate, Boston's charter students significantly outperform their peers in both reading and math. So why is Warren still opposed?

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) has a plan for public education, and it starts with restricting parents and kids from choosing charters over traditional public schools.

"If you think your public school is not working, then go help your public school," Warren told the National Education Association (NEA) in December. "Go help get more resources for [your public school]. Volunteer at your public school. Help get the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers and the custodial staff and the support staff, help get them some support so they can do the work that needs to be done. You don't like the building? You think it's old and decaying? Then get out there and push to get a new one."

Warren adopted this stance in 2016, when "a handful of bazillionaires" attempted to lift the cap on charters in Massachusetts. "Public dollars must stay in public schools," she said in December. Of course, charter schools are themselves public schools and do not charge tuition. But charters are not required to collectively bargain with teachers, which often leads to better educational outcomes.

This is especially true in Warren's home state. In Boston, for instance, taxpayers spend $2,900 less per pupil per year on charter attendees compared to students in traditional public schools. Despite costing less to educate, Boston's charter students significantly outperform their peers in both reading and math.

Those gains are most dramatic for the disadvantaged populations that Warren suggests are being left behind. As Jonathan Chait noted in New York magazine, "Researchers have asked and answered every possible objection": The city's high-quality charter schools are indeed replicable, and they aren't snagging only the "best" kids. What's more, students in traditional public schools have actually seen a slight uptick in performance as charters have grown.

Nationwide, a majority of Hispanic Democrats (52 percent) and black Democrats (58 percent) hold favorable opinions of school choice, according to the group Democrats for Education Reform. Yet contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination have demonized charters this election cycle. One possible explanation: Unions vote and spend money on campaigns, while low-income charter school families have far less political might.

Warren isn't wrong on her diagnosis of the overall problem. "Assigning children to schools by zip code, and doing funding by zip code, means that our public schools are very uneven," she told the NEA. That's a real issue, and one that charter schools can help address.

NEXT: Brickbat: Make-Work Measure

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  1. I wonder if her hatred for billionaires stems from a realization of her own desperate and venal craving for money from the likes of unions that don’t give a rat’s ass if children ever learn to read so long as they get theirs.

    She probably imagines that all those rich folks she abhors are money grubbing sellouts and integrity-lacking phoneys just like her.

  2. “Assigning children to schools by zip code, and doing funding by zip code, means that our public schools are very uneven”

    So abolish zip codes. Problem solved.

    1. There is probably some hidden correlation between zip codes and zip guns. Maybe zip lines too.

  3. Liberté, égalité, fraternité. Except not so much on the liberté, s’il vous plaît.

  4. “If you think your public school is not working, then go help your public school,” Warren told the National Education Association (NEA) in December. “Go help get more resources for [your public school]. Volunteer at your public school. Help get the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers and the custodial staff and the support staff, help get them some support so they can do the work that needs to be done. You don’t like the building? You think it’s old and decaying? Then get out there and push to get a new one.”

    But don’t go thinking outside the box and decide if you don’t like your public schools you could just go start your own – we will fuck your shit up if you go thinking for yourselves, you miserable sonsabitches.

  5. “If you think your public school is not working, then go help your public school,”

    I do. I vote against every democrat I find an a ballot.

  6. vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers

  7. Setting aside that (like far too many politicians) she’s sold her soul to the teachers’ unions, Warren probably views with horror the entire idea that children of the Lesser Orders might escape the clutches of the State.

    God, but I hope the stupid witch tanks.

  8. Volunteer at your public school. Help get the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers and the custodial staff and the support staff

    Uh, I work for a living? I don’t fucking have anyone coming down to my office to volunteer for me! How about you slash 80% of that army of six figure administrators at every school district – I bet teacher productivity would skyrocket.

    1. Exactly. How fucking condescending that Warren and her army of teachers dare to demand more pay, more bennefits, more more more for the teachers, and then try to shame YOU for not volunteering enough.

      In the real world, we pony up money so that someone else will do some work for us. I don’t give money to a general contractor and then go harangue his suppliers for better pricing. I pay him to take care of that shit for me. But in Warren’s world, that money is just table stakes, and if I also want quality in return, I need to work for it.

    2. I could swear that when I was a kid (late 50s/early 60s), the elementary school had a nurse, principal, secretary, and janitor. There must have been some kind of counselor, I remember one interaction with some non-nurse non-secretary woman.

      I explicitly remember that there was no office full of flunkies, administrators, any of that. Just a principal and his secretary. No vice-principle. No other office staff at all.

      Then being amazed at the staff in my 4th grader’s new school. An entire huge room full of desks and admin staff. Must have been 15 people in there, at least, all desks full of papers, computer screens. It was supposedly the main school in the district, maybe that accounted for some, but it was way too many people doing nothing.

      It’s got to be much worse nowadays. All overhead, all negative productivity, all the time.

      1. In fairness, there was also a LOT less reporting that the staff had to crank out. Now they need an army just to comply with the paperwork demands. And while some of that paperwork is self-inflicted by the local school board, far too much is mandated by state and even federal governments.

    3. Volunteer at a public school? Good luck trying that with unions controlling everything there.

  9. Teachers unions are starting to collapse. There have been a rise in “parent unions” to try to help offset the power of the NEA. Parents are just sick of the strikes and other bullshit. Red for Ed has already taken a hit in arizona as they openly began supporting socialists and communists. I’ve talked to a few pretty virulent red for ed supporters from a few years ago who are now dismayed they were lied to about the reason for the movement.

    Democrats only care about the votes and donations. They dont give a fuck about the kids.

    1. The problem is that the Unions have completely corrupted the process and the system. Even if they went away today, the public school system will continue shambling on like a zombie for years.

      From the Teachers who no longer get degrees in anything but teaching, to the administrators who need four secretaries, the system is entrenched by funding. My kids’ school flags every kid it can for some sort of disability so that they can get extra money- which they spend on a counselor who pulls the kids from class each week- but wouldn’t have a music or art program if the PTA didn’t raise the money from parents.

  10. Of course she sent her son to private schools after elementary school. But that’s totally different of course…..

  11. “Help get the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers and the custodial staff and the support staff, help get them some support so they can do the work that needs to be done.”

    “For instance, direct them to LearnToCode.org.”

    1. Private school: School starts at 8:00 AM – Get your brat there on time. Oh,and pack hi a lunch.

  12. What’s next? A computer figures out the maximum diversity (based on b.s.) and then allocates the students to a school? One can hope the outrage from parents and grandparents when their kid has to be bused 100 miles every day so that an inner city school can have the appropriate mix of Asians, women, poc, rich and poor, etc.

    1. I’ve been reading Henry Hazlitt’s (“Economics in One Lesson”) novel “Time Will Run Back”. He attempts to describe a world where the USSR won the Cold War and the entire world is the Global USSR. Plot is thin at best; an utter naive noob becomes Dictator and rassles with reforming socialism to work. Funny sometimes, reading his descriptions of the problem, not realize what prices are, inventing them from scratch, almost by accident. Even gets into a mathematical rant on the impossibility of determining proper production levels for all the categories of products they have factories for. Your sarcastic recommendation fits right in. I have talked with some of these idiots form (short) time to time, and they simply have no conception of how hard it really is, how many variables there are, how variable the variables are, and the sheer impossibility.

      1. “how many variables there are, how variable the variables are, and the sheer impossibility.”

        Multiple variables simply make the problem more difficult rather than impossible. The USSR planners would have had to do their calculations on pencil and paper, and were always incentivized to doctor their results to please their masters.

      2. Dilbert Principle test question #1:

        Do you believe that anything you don’t understand must be easy to do?

        They’re all idiot bosses.

  13. Warren should consider the possibility that her premise is wrong, i.e. her notion that the public schools suck because of “lack of resources”. Are all of the countries whose students outperform the U.S. as rich? Or do they simply have higher standards?

    1. ” Or do they simply have higher standards?”

      Higher standards and they lack America’s tradition of anti-intellectualism and contempt for teachers.

      1. America’s “contempt for teachers” is a very recent phenomenon. Perhaps not surprisingly, the trend in attitudes started about the same time as the rise of teachers unions. Before that, teachers were generally held in quite high regard.

    2. Warren should consider the possibility that her premise is wrong

      Her narcissism precludes that.

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  15. This is Massachusetts for you. There was a pro-charter school referendum there a couple of years ago. It was soundly defeated…in the affluent suburbs where Warren’s denizens live.

    1. That’s one way for those in the affluent suburbs to make sure their kids won’t need to compete with any of those charter school kids for college admission.

  16. Elizabeth Warren Is a Teachers Union Pet malevolent, pathological liar who will say anything if it gets her something.

    FTFY.

  17. Liz and Biden, both proven liars and shills for special interests.
    Let’s not forget hypocrites as well.

  18. When money is taken from the public school budget to help non-public schools, the public schools have less to work with. When the elites take their kids out of public schools, of course this drops the average grades of students. When property tax is the source of school funding, this guarantees that poorer districts with less valuable real estate have fewer resources, and wealthy districts have much greater resources. The system is set up for those in poorer districts to fail, even before money is drained out of the public schools. It is not asking for too much to have public money go to the public schools, instead of going to reduce tuition for the children of the well-to-do.

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