Reason Podcast

The Democrats' Dumb War Against Charter Schools

The latest bad idea from Bernie Sanders is depressingly popular, sayeth the Reason Podcast crew

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How bad is the plan to ban for-profit charter schools, released Saturday by second-place presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)? Bad enough to draw this New York magazine headline from Jonathan Chait: "Bernie Sanders Wants to Destroy the Best Schools Poor Urban Kids Have." Also bad enough to generate this asinine tweet:

We talk about the Democratic war on charters—sadly not limited to Bernie Sanders!—on this week's Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, featuring Katherine Mangu-WardNick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch. Also discussed: Last night's television finale, last week's weirdly DOA Trump immigration plan, and of course the weekend's biggest news in libertarian politics, namely the tweetstorm from Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) about the "impeachment threshold" behavior by the president.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Relevant links from the show:

"Rep. Justin Amash Says Trump 'Has Engaged in Impeachable Conduct,'" by Eric Boehm

"Donald Trump Responds To Justin Amash: 'Never a Fan…Total Lightweight…Loser,'" by Nick Gillespie

"Justin Amash's Principled Stand Against Trump Will Not Make Him Popular in the GOP," by Robby Soave

"Beto Called Charter Schools a 'Good Idea' in 2012. He Was Right." By Zuri Davis

"Cory Booker Is Running for President. Must He Run Away from School Choice?" by Robby Soave

"N.Y.C. Mayor Bill De Blasio Mulling Presidential Run. Stop Laughing!" By Scott Shackford

"Does School Choice Help Students Learn? All Signs Point to Yes," by Nick Gillespie

"Trump Unveils Plan To Promote Skill-Based Immigration," by Zuri Davis

"White House Increases Temporary Work Visas; Proposes Keeping Immigration Flat," by Matt Welch

"Game of Thrones Finale: Daenerys Vows to Make a Hell of Earth," by Robby Soave

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

64 responses to “The Democrats' Dumb War Against Charter Schools

  1. Everything that guy says is just poison.

    1. Dems don’t give a crap about helping the poor, etc. As JBP says, it’s not about empathy and compassion, it’s resentment and hate.

      If they gave two shits about poor kids they wouldn’t be in bed with the teacher’s unions.

      1. Where would the Ds be without the poor… and their resentment and hate?
        They NEED everything they rail against; it’s the basis of their power.
        The D platform is munchausen by proxy

        1. That’s an interesting way of putting it. Makes sense.

  2. Charter schools ARE public schools. In terms of freedom and liberty and property rights, they rank at the very bottom of the school choice scale. Next up are tuition vouchers, which is still taxpayer money. Then by tuition tax credits. The ideal is to eliminate government schools and government funded education entirely. But that’s not politically viable in this reality at his time. So I continue to advocate for tuition tax credits, as I have for the past thirty five years.

    1. Amen, Brandybuck. I’m with you all the way!

  3. Schools that teach nonsense and suppress science should neither be funded with public money nor accredited by legitimate authorities.

    1. Schools that teach nonsense and suppress science should neither be funded with public money nor accredited by legitimate authorities.

      Glad to see the Good Reverend has come out against the menace that is the US Public School System

    2. So any school that teaches transgender theory is out then?

      1. Carry on, clingers. So far as superstition, bigotry, and backwardness can carry anyone in modern America, that is — and even then only so far and so long as your betters permit.

        1. YOUR betters are most of the country. Fool.

        2. You should be beaten to death with a 2×4 and your corpse thrown onto a busy highway you retarded knuckle dragging rube.

      2. Nice try. But in fact, transgender identity is backed up by the latest scientific research.

        #TranswomenAreWomen
        #TransmenAreMen
        #NonbinaryAreNonbinary
        #StopObsessingAboutChromosomes
        #(OrWhatsBetweenPeoplesLegs)

      3. If we privatize education, there will be plenty of schools and educational types to please most Americans. Then you can all retreat to your own little corners on these nonsensical topics that shouldn’t be of concern to most of us, unless someone’s trying to “stuff something down your throat.”

    3. Nonsenseile gender identity? Or manipulating measures data to fit models instead of the other way around? Or do you mean “there are no objective facts” post modernism?

    4. I agree. Let’s abolish public education.

    5. You should legitimately have your retarded face pummeled with a bat.

  4. If we are a nation that can pay baseball players hundreds of millions of dollars, don’t tell me we can’t afford to pay teachers the salaries they deserve.

    There is so much wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start. And to the charter school thing, isn’t Team Blue “pro-choice”? Or does that only extend to the “right” to kill a baby up to, including and after it crosses the birth canal?

    1. Start with the fact that teachers would get that kind of bucks too if there were that few of them, teaching stadium-size classes with more audience on TV and radio.

      1. Some of the South Korean tutor and cram school teachers make six and seven figure incomes. And there was at least one who had an eight-figure income.

        1. There are very very few people who can compete at the level of Major League Baseball players no matter how hard they try.
          Most people can teach public school. Education is an easy major. You basically just have to show up to class. There is a huge supply of people who can be teachers.

      2. Lebron James could do a public school teacher’s job better than the average teacher could do his.

        1. Oddly the Lebron James backed charter school in Ohio is crushing Ohio’s public school system.

          1. Not so odd at all. ????

    2. According to these folk, a woman’s right to choose only extends up to her lady lips.

  5. Admittedly I don’t know much about charter schools. However even assuming Democrats are bad on this issue, they’re still better on education issues in general.

    For instance, Democrats support affirmative action, which scientific studies show is absolutely essential for attaining a diverse student body. Furthermore, Democrats (like Gillibrand) are more serious about addressing the RAPE CULTURE that plagues our higher education system. Did you know 1 in 4 college women will be sexually assaulted?

    1. It really is getting harder to parody them. Now instead of parody you just have to quote them

      1. You are welcome to root for superstition-based education and for-profit schools to constitute America’s future. Your betters, meanwhile, will be effecting progress — including with respect to education — against your wishes and works.

        Carry on, clingers.

        1. …against your wishes…

          Carry on

          How can anyone carry on while you are trying to enslave them?

          1. Tote that barge,
            Lift that bail.

            Carry on carrying on.

        2. I have to hold out hope that this account is a sock-puppet used to troll libertarians. My instincts tell me that if I were confronted with someone this elitist in person that I could not resist stabbing them in the eye with fork.

          I would definitely have to be physically restrained from choking Comrade Sanders.

        3. You are welcome to shove a .45 in your retard mouth and pull the trigger.

  6. If we are a nation that can pay baseball players hundreds of millions of dollars, don’t tell me we can’t afford to pay teachers the salaries they deserve.

    If we are a nation that can elect a moron like Bernie Sanders to high office, don’t tell me we can’t wear pants on our heads.

    1. Bernie Sanders continued existence in the public sphere is the best argument I have ever seen that abortion should not be limited by arbitrary timelines. 8 weeks, 8 months, 80 years, sometimes it takes a bit longer to determine the fetus is not viable.

      1. The problem with Bernie is a practical one. With his umbilical cord attached to 300 million taxpayers what do we do with all those placentas? Unless you can answer critical questions like that we will have to just accept that some abortions while appropriate are impractical.

    2. Genuine lol.
      Thanks for that.

      I had the thought the other day, that his 15% usury cap is similar to the $15 minimum wage.
      If 15% is good, wouldn’t 10% be better? Why not just eliminate interest rates on loans altogether? Comrade Bernie is selling himself short.

  7. >>>don’t tell me we can’t afford to pay teachers the salaries they deserve

    at this point that’s on the stupid teachers. demand more for real or shut up. 50-year waaaaaahmbulance.

    1. Many teachers do get paid what they deserve. They work at private schools.

  8. I agree with Bernie Sanders. As an engineer, I don’t get paid what I deserve. I only get paid what I earn, in the form of a mutually agreed upon salary and benefits. Totally unfair!!

  9. Dear Bernie,
    You wrote: “If we are a nation that can pay baseball players hundreds of millions of dollars, don’t tell me we can’t afford to pay teachers the salaries they deserve.”

    The problem Bernie is that not all of the teachers are worth the salaries they will get if you raise their salaries. Really good teachers that are cultivated in a true merit system are likely worth more than you even want to pay.

    The problem is that you and the Democratic Party are in cahoots with teacher’s unions who want to pay all teachers a higher salary, not just the best teachers. Not only that you and the Democratic Party side with the same teacher’s unions who make it extremely hard, near impossible, to fire incompetent teacher. These teachers are shuffled to other school districts where they harm young minds.
    Fix this Bernie and then teachers will be worth higher salaries.

    1. Privatize the education. The salary thing will work itself out. Problem is, the left want’s all our money “up front.” After they get it, then — and only then — we’re free to send our kids to the schools we choose. Thus, choosing a private school means paying twice.

    2. “The problem Bernie is that not all of the teachers are worth the salaries they will get if you raise their salaries.”

      True. And the comparison to baseball players is retarded in every way. Bernie is such trash. Sure educating kids is important, we can all agree on that. But it is also a relatively low skill cap to get into the field (of course with some variability depending on subject). With a school that puts out x# of kids per year, x# of teachers COULD be produced if those kids wanted to go that route. If they all wanted to play in the MLB, you might get 1 pro baseball player if you’re lucky.

      Supply and demand Bernie, you old decrepit POS.

    3. Why does the problem of delivering a good education always come down to teachers getting more pay? Why is THAT the gold standard? Charter Schools and other school choices concentrate on the child, but public schools and teachers unions are all about the pay and benefits for themselves. Screw them. Citizens and taxpayers aren’t here to make YOUR lives comfortable.

  10. The Bern doesn’t understand scale? I’m shocked!
    Total mlb annual spending on player payroll: ~$4B
    Total spending on public education: $700B

    If only the idiot public had its priorities right..that extra $4b would be the difference maker (eyeroll..)

    1. In other words, all the MLB salaries combined amount to a rounding error in the budget for public education.

      1. And yet again, I must point out that rounding is a mathematical function that yields a specific result. It is not an error.

        1. Keep fighting the good fight.

  11. Bernie’s tweet:

    “If we are a nation that can pay baseball players hundreds of millions of dollars, don’t tell me we can’t afford to pay teachers the salaries they deserve.”

    Um. The “nation” aka government, doesn’t pay baseball players from dollars taken from people in the form of taxes.

    The teams are businesses that generate revenue through advertising, ticket sales, people buying hats and shirts, etc. then the players are paid.

    1. Essentially, Bernie is bitching that the people are not spending their money where he would prefer them to.

      1. It’s almost as if he follows a totalitarian political ideology.

        1. I consider him more of a leader than a follower.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AopWqv-eQFM

    2. “The “nation” aka government, doesn’t pay baseball players from dollars taken from people in the form of taxes.”

      Um, tell that to every taxpayer in every city that has given a gazillion dollars to a baseball team – – – –

  12. It’s all about control and conforming. They think that the government should not only be the only ones in charge of educating everyone’s kids, but will some day be the ones to raise them too.
    Take the parents entirely out of the equation.

  13. Put Mrs Bernie in charge. She’s got experience closing down schools.

  14. “If we are a nation that can pay baseball players hundreds of millions of dollars, don’t tell me we can’t afford to pay teachers the salaries they deserve.”

    1. We can only pay most teachers what they deserve when the minimum wage laws are repealed.
    2. If a teacher could get thousands of people to pay $15 to $200 for a seat to watch them teach, and get those people to pay $15 for a beer, and $20 for a sandwich, then the teachers just might get paid a million dollars.
    3. This is a banana.

  15. Why don’t the teachers just write a successful no 1 NYT best seller like Bernie did?

  16. The Plan isn’t dumb, Reason is.

    The Left is after power and they mean it.

    They are the teacher’s unions. They are both a power base and a means to indoctrinate the next generation. Of course they’re trying to kill private Charter Schools. They are a direct threat to their power.

  17. Nobody, of any age, is charged with “truancy” for failure to attend baseball games.

    1. Notice Democrats don’t try to change those truancy laws once they regain power in any particular area. Laws which, not surprisingly, tend to catch more black and brown families in their nets. And one of their presidential hopefuls vigorously enforced them in Progtopia.

  18. Democrats don’t support public schools. They support teachers’ unions, which pay them big in campaign contributions.

    Since many charter schools are non-union, they are a threat to Democrat’s cash cows.

  19. The leftist ruling elites in America are against charter and private schools until they send their kids to one of them.
    But that’s different.
    Elitist turds must mesh with other elitist turds.
    This is especially true with their little ones.
    This way the elitist turds’ offspring won’t be defiled by mingling with the kids of the unwashed and unenlightened masses.

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