School Choice

Teachers Unions Try To Protect Their Monopoly as Parents Flee Traditional Schools

As families flock to virtual charter schools and "pandemic pods," California blocks the money from following the child.

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Los Angeles was the first major city to announce that its public schools wouldn't be re-opening for in-person instruction in the fall, and districts across the country have followed suit.

A coalition of California parents is suing the state on the grounds that poor and special-needs children in particular have received inadequate instruction during the shutdown.

School districts around the country are weighing students' education needs against the danger that in-person instruction could cause COVID-19 to spread. And teachers unions are understandably concerned about protecting their members' health.

But in Los Angeles, the teachers union is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to prevent competition from charter schools, which are seeing a surge of new applicants from desperate parents.

The United Teachers Los Angeles co-signed a document with nine other unions and the Democratic Socialists of America calling for a moratorium on all new charter schools and private voucher programs. A union-backed bill signed into law last October might accomplish that, as it gives local school boards more power to stop new charter schools from opening and existing ones from renewing their charters.

"It's about protecting a monopoly from losing any students and the funding that goes along with those students," says Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes Reason TV.

He says entrenched interests are trying to stop families from exercising choice.

"If you really care about students and their safety, you should want more options for more students to be able to spread out in different locations," says DeAngelis. "And this doesn't do that. But what it does do is it allows the teachers unions to block students from switching to their competition."

Families are flocking to charters in part because they were poorly served by district schools in the spring. The United Teachers Los Angeles, which declined our interview request, successfully pressured the district to limit their members to 4-hour workdays and to give them the choice of opting out of live video instruction. In Chicago, nearly half of the district's elementary school teachers logged in to the virtual learning system less than three days a week.

One recent survey found that private or charter schools were more than twice as likely to meet with students daily than teachers at district-run schools and 20 percent more likely to introduce new content.

In addition to the charter school moratorium, United Teachers Los Angeles is insisting that before the district can reopen it needs an additional $250 million in overall funding, a federal bailout, Medicare for All, a new wealth tax, a new millionaires tax, and defunding of the police, among other demands.

"Normal wasn't working for us before," the union asserts, and "we can't go back."

Oregon and Pennsylvania have also cut off additional funding for charter schools. DeAngelis points to comments from the president of the state's association of school administrators in Pennsylvania, who stated his intention to handicap virtual charter schools.

"We're seeing this in a lot of different places, and it's putting the system in front of the needs of families—and in the worst time possible," says DeAngelis.

Los Angeles is already home to more charter schools than any other district in America, and it was a battleground in the school choice movement before COVID-19. Over the past decade, the percentage of students attending charters has surged, taking market share from traditional schools that employ unionized teachers.

United Teachers Los Angeles is using its political clout to keep COVID-19 from accelerating that trend. California schools have traditionally received most of their state funding based on the number of students enrolled. But in July, California froze school budgets in place at the behest of the state's largest lobbyist—the California Teachers Association. That means schools experiencing surges in enrollment won't get additional funding and schools hemorrhaging enrollment won't lose money.

That's limiting the extent to which the California charter network APlus Schools can scale up. It has already increased enrollment by 5,000 for 2021 but had to wait-list an additional 24,000.

Jeff Rice, president of APlus Schools, attributes surging demand to the network's experience with virtual instruction.

"We're seeing a significant increase in parents who under normal circumstances may not choose our school, but…they're turning to us because they want to put their children in a school that has proven track record of providing successful learning in those settings," says Rice.

The budget freeze is also impacting South Sutter Charter School in Sacramento, where Shauna Anderson works as an education specialist.

"And so that benefits these brick and mortar schools where the kids are just leaving in droves, because that's not what they want. And it really penalizes schools like ours because we have all of these students that want to enroll, but we're not going to be able to get funding for them," says Anderson.

Anderson, who also runs a homeschooling resource network called Unschool.school, says that the traditional schooling model is increasingly outdated and particularly ill-suited to virtual learning.

"Education really needs to change, this model of education where kids can choose what they want to learn and how they learn best in a truly personalized individual plan is really, I think, the wave of the future," says Anderson. "If we could do it in a public setting, great. But if not, people are going to do it privately."

DeAngelis has reported on a new phenomenon called "pandemic pods," in which groups of parents are pooling their resources to hire their own teachers.

"It's essentially the idea of the one-room schoolhouse," says DeAngelis. "You essentially outsource the process of homeschooling."

He says the rise of the pods, or micro-schools, could permanently change the way Americans think about schooling. It's mostly upper-middle-class families who have the resources to fund these arrangements—leading to criticism in the Washington Post and New York Times—but DeAngelis says that the solution to this problem is to change the structure of education finance so that the money follows the child even outside of traditional, government-certified schools.

"Fund the families directly, so less advantaged families can take advantage of these options as well," says DeAngelis.

President Donald Trump has called for more school choice as a response to shuttered schools. Sens. Tim Scott (R–S.C.) and Lamar Alexander (R–Tenn.) have introduced the School Choice Now Act, which would earmark COVID dollars for parents to spend directly on education. And Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) has introduced a bill that would require states to give parents direct access to federal education dollars to spend on tuition or homeschool materials.

Oklahoma and South Carolina have already begun to redirect money earmarked for schools in the emergency CARES Act directly to parents to cover private school tuition, and some Colorado legislators are proposing to put the money right into parents' hands.

In California, the political power of the union will likely prevent that. But DeAngelis says the current moment could be a turning point for school choice regardless.

"I think people are waking up to this idea…that families have been getting the short end of the stick when it comes to K–12 education," he says. "And I think they're waking up to this idea…that there's no good reason to fund the system instead of the students directly."

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Graphics by Isaac Reese.

Photo credits: "Siblings working on laptop," Sara Monika Westend6/Newscom; "Dad and son on laptop," Phillip Waterman Westend61/Newscom; "Masked girl washing hands at school," dirk_kittelberger Westend61/Newscom; "Girl in pink at laptop," Dreamstock1982 Westend61/Newscom; "UTLA Protest," David Crane/ZUMA Press/Newscom; "Boy with red headphones at laptop," Giorgio Magini Westend61/Newscom; "Moreno Valley teachers protest," Terry Pierson/ZUMA Press/Newscom; "Woman reading to little boy," Brian Cassella/TNS/Newscom; "Red-headed girl taking test on laptop," Annette Holloway/Icon Sportswire/Newscom; "Family homeschooling," Rafael Ben-Ari/Newscom; "Masked students sitting on mats," Tyger Williams/TNS/Newscom; "School closed sign," Image of Sport/Newscom; "Rand Paul in Congress," Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom; "Trump at COVID update presser," Abaca Press/Gripas Yuri/Sipa USA/Newscom; "Tim Scott in Congress," WIn McNamee/UPI/Newscom; "Body bags for teachers," John-Marshall Mantel/Polaris/Newscom; "Welcome Back to School coffin," John Marshall Mantel/Polaris/Newscom

Music credits: "Normalize," "Unplanned Run," "Free Radicals," "Subdivide," and "Binary Love," by Stanley Gurvich licensed by Artlist.   

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  1. If the kids aren’t going to show up furlough the educators and administrators and cut my taxes.

    1. This.

      I don’t have kids, so I receive no direct benefit from public schools. I was always told that I benefited from the public at large being educated, but the more I interact with the public at large the less convinced I am that I’m getting anything close to my money’s worth.

      The union is right: the old normal didn’t work and we shouldn’t go back to it. Time to stop the public funding of education altogether.

      1. I was always told that I benefited from the public at large being educated,

        You do. What were once obscure areas of academic grievance studies are now used in your HR department.

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            1. Yeah but how is the HR department? Mine is tolerant of non-conformist views, mostly a live and let live mindset.

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      4. For a long time parents let the entire education establishment, including the teacher’s unions, get away with a lot because schools served as babysitters while parents worked, and because anything labeled as “education” must have been good, so they simply went along with it and without thinking. Now COVID is taking away the former, getting parents to actually start questioning what the schools were doing since they now have to teach them at home. I wonder if we’re going to see some serious changes at the local level, ie, significant tax moneys being denied, as parents will use the savings for their own kids’ education. These teachers unions are shooting themselves in the foot with irrelevant demands – Medicare for All and defunding police departments are not at all in line with education goals.

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    2. Great reply. Government teachers have the lowest GPA’s and the highest self esteem. My two girls were sent to a private school and they are MILES beyond their govt. school mates. Those who choose education in college have the lowest GPA’s and the highest self esteem. To hell with govt. schools. Both of my girls are WAY ahead of their govt. school mates.

    3. The union won’t like it when more people find alternatives and won’t want to go back. They are making the case for school vouchers.

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    6. Fat chance. The public school system will live on long after it becomes irrelevant, like any other government institution.

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  2. Competition from charter schools who can pick and choose who they want. The fact you try to lay blame on teachers for all of society’s failings is pretty laughable.

    “In breaking news, schools who can selectively pick exactly who they want from all of society outdo schools who must take every child, no matter how disadvantaged or otherwise awful for stats.”

    1. Good argument. Now apply it to elite colleges!

      Baked into your complaint there seems to be an implication that letting the government dictate where each child receives their indoctrication (indoctrination + education) has some how prevented disparate outcomes from occurring. I suppose the argument that trying to make students compete for better education and making teachers compete to work at better schools might improve the system overall a la literally every other sector of life isn’t going to work on you.

      Nope, we’ll just centralize control in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, remove all input from the stupid tax cattle and generally Harrison Bergeron the shit out of the whole system like we’ve been doing barely impeded for decades and everything will turn out equally swell for everyone of all races, colors and creeds. Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, DC, LA and Chicago have all shown us that we already have the blueprint to utopia and it is the Democrat platform verbatim with out a shred of opposition from another party.

      1. It’s not an especially good argument because it’s not true. While some completely private schools have the ability to pick and choose their students, charter schools do not. Charter schools are chartered (hence the name) by the state and subject to their regulations. I don’t know of any jurisdiction that allows charter schools the ability to pick their students.

        Not that such objectively checkable facts have stopped the teachers’ unions or their shills from claiming otherwise.

        1. My experience has been that they’re always random lotteries, not hand selected. I wasn’t aware that was universally true. I’m curious to know if anyone can point to a specific exception.

          I’m always irked by arguments like what wearingit puts forth here. The ruling class doesn’t want to eliminate the selection of elites. They just want to control it and give it only to themselves. They have zero apprehension with ranking and sorting children to determine who will and won’t make it in society. It’s the idea that a market place could determine that instead of their dictates that offends them. But people like him will always defend the ruling class no matter how much dissonance there is between what they say their policies are for and the practical realities of them in action.

          1. He just doesn’t want any threat to the teacher’s union, which is a power base for the progressives.

            He doesn’t give a shit about children.

          2. Try to ‘ironman’ his argument, I’ve only heard of two things that come close:
            1. Alternative schools may (in some cases) decline to enroll children with certain special needs, as the public school may be better equipped to handle them.
            2. The fact that parents need to take action to enroll their child in alternative schooling is a way of self selecting engaged parents.

            Beyond those, yes it’s a very poor argument.

            1. From my point of view, that’s likely the key to charter success. Having a parent at home that actively participates in the child’s education is obviously huge differential. Not just in the education, but presumably also in filtering out children with behavioral issues.

              1. I wonder if there’s been any random assignment studies…
                Here’s one: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/choice_charter.asp
                It seems charter school enrollment didn’t improve educational outcomes on an individual, but did make a big difference in parent and child satisfaction.

                1. In this case the control group was children whose parents sought to enroll them in charter schools but weren’t selected in the lottery

    2. Now apply it to charters in Camden, NJ. which have to take any student in their district who applies.

    3. Can always tell who the ignorant leftists are by their denial of charter school lottery systems.

      1. Exactly. All three counties I’ve lived in since I started having kids have been a lottery system. Charters are in many ways another illusion of choice. Better than literally no choice that we would have otherwise I guess.

        1. My son got accepted into a charter school this year via a random lottery of applicants per grade level.

    4. “Competition from charter schools who can pick and choose who they want”

      Most charter schools do NOT pick and choose. The most they do is 1) give preference to people in their neighborhood, or 2) give preference to siblings of kids who already got in. The rest offer a lottery.

      “The fact you try to lay blame on teachers for all of society’s failings is pretty laughable.”

      I just listened for 3 months about how we need to defund the police because they are responsible for the instantiation of Systematic Institutional Racism. If that is true, then you have to hold Public Education to the same standard. Kids are far more likely to learn and get reinforced racism from the schools than they are the police.

      1. @Overt…..Bingo, you win the thread.

    5. Far as I know, you are wrong. Charter schools are state supported, just with half the bureaucracy, and still have no choice in which students they get.

      1. What some charter schools do is, if you have a child with an IEP, they sit you down and explain how they don’t have much funding for resource teachers or speech pathologists and so they are “not sure they can meet the requirements of the child’s IEP.” Then they say, if you the parent are really okay with changing the IEP down to some small number of minutes per week of resource assistance and maybe no speech services – and parents can do this – if you’re really okay with this, then sure, put the child’s name in the lottery (or for some charter schools that don’t fill up or homeschool/charter umbrella schools, just enroll).
        They can’t prevent you from trying. They can, however, make it clear that they cannot provide the support services that the districts provide. Then they look at you sideways until you give up.
        School funding for special ed is a weird formula. I don’t fully understand it but I do know it isn’t linear. Many charter schools never invest in much “resource” support. It is their choice. The pre-existing district public school has to provide the free and appropriate public education to any child in the geographic attendance boundaries, and they also usually have established some special ed funding and have staff.
        This is not to say that the resource support is always worth it. Part of this “COVID exposes the education system” thing is it makes it obvious that resource kids are often carried along by the momentum of the regular classes and the support staff, and the kids who struggle with many additional things about memory, learning, writing, etc are not always really gaining any independent skills. They can do some task well enough often enough to clear the IEP goal threshold – often 80% accuracy – with prompts in a very controlled environment. The knowledge may or may not translate out of the classroom. I’d say it’s better than it was when I was growing up, when there was one class for any kid with any issue at all, hearing impairment, low vision, any intellectual disability, regardless of how divergent the kids’ needs were and how it made no sense for them to all be in one class. The “individualized education plan” is an improvement.
        But yes the charter schools are savvy about this stuff. They also sometimes require parent volunteer hours or donations of sums of money, or they offer after-school care but at $10/hr as opposed to the district’s subsidized or free programs. They may have no buses and minimal lunch programs. There are plenty of possible barriers.

        1. We spend massive amounts of money to send regarded children to school until they’re 21 so they can (maybe) handle a menial minimum wage job.

          Makes total sense.

          Also, in WA, we have a program where the state spends upwards of $200k per year to privately house mentally disabled sex offenders in regular communities. Rather than institutionalizing them for a much lower cost.

        2. This is false. Completely.

    6. There’s a valid point that direct comparisons between public and private or charter schools are not viable. Especially not on average values or the low end.

      However, we aren’t talking about averages in this situation. We are talking about universal standards that you need to teach students SOMETHING. My children go to a well off suburban school. They had zero new content after spring break. ZERO. All review. District policy. I ended up teaching them with math reviews, history documentaries, and high fantasy literature.

      1. Just out of curiosity what literature in particular?

    7. Just an out-and-out lie. Charter schools are taken advantage of in great numbers by lower-income families. At some point, you’ll be required to let them off the reservation…slaver.

    8. Ever read about the few black-only child schools in big inner cities that took whoever wanted to come, and gave them a GREAT education.. their students regulary beat the public school kids in all the metrics, particulalry in grade point averages, AND in the standardised tests. Washington DC and parts of New York had them. Their stuednts easily qualifide for and attended ajor universties, and did well.

      SO there goes YOUR theory. Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have written about these on occasioin. Educate YOURSELF and go find some of those accounts. And they did it wiht little to no government money.

      1. You are omitting one major factor.
        You have to care enough to apply. That’s a major filter right there.

        A lot of inner city, struggling students don’t care or can’t care. Indeed, that’s the primary problem with poor schools (I can’t say about elsewhere, but poor schools around here actually get MORE money from the state). If mom and dad are working two jobs each, not much time to help with algebra or fill out the application for the new charter school. That is, if they can speak English and write well enough to fill out the form. Similarly, if Dad thinks that reading is just taking time away from farm chores, they aren’t going to go to a charter school either.

        These are the bottom rung, the ones that need school most and drag down everyone else. It’s a factor that must not be ignored.

        1. Inner city farm chores?

    9. Well, you’re ALMOST right…but you obviously are clueless about charter schools. From your comment it’s obvious you don’t have a kid who attends one. Private schools do have a pecking order, so to speak, but not charter schools. It’s far past time to go back to the days before teacher’s unions ruled the roost and destroyed our public education system. Nobody is trying to lay blame on teachers, just teachers unions that really don’t have the interests of students in the forefront. My dad was an educator for 30 years and decided to retire from a job he loved. When I asked him why, he said “Somehow we have decided that the kids know better than the teachers.” Thank you , teachers unions.

      1. This is ridiculous. The teachers vote for their unions. Do a few dislike the unions, sure but this concept they don’t support the Union is crazy

        1. Some teachers support the unions others don’t. The economics teacher I had in high school had just moved to Georgia because the unions in his home state were too powerful. Two of the major problems with unions is that they tend to cater to the least common denominator and they make themselves extremely difficult to remove or replace. Where I work, individual workgroups can leave the union, but it requires a unanimous vote. Some groups love the union, but others hold on by just one or two people. California, where this article is focused, is not a right to work state. So teachers can’t even remove their funding to try and sway the union’s policies.

          1. My googling is coming up short, but there is a principle that the leaders of any bureaucracy will tend to focus on the survival of the bureaucracy rather than the goals for which the bureaucracy was created.
            Basically, Teacher union leadership is not thinking at all about how they can improve education outcomes. They are focused on protecting their teachers’ employment and benefits.

    10. “…The fact you try to lay blame on teachers for all of society’s failings is pretty laughable…”

      You’re right; they have no effect at all. Sorta similar to lefty scum like you.
      Fire ’em.

    11. Overlooked in your bogus claim is the fact that parents DO want their kids in charter schools, rather than in the public indoctrination centers, who would rather see the kids poorly educated than risk being embarrassed.

    12. “Competition from charter schools who can pick and choose who they want.”

      Yes, but as it turns out, charter schools and private schools end up with the more difficult kids, those that public schools often fail to serve.

      “The fact you try to lay blame on teachers for all of society’s failings is pretty laughable.”

      Public school teachers in the US as a group are performing poorly and way, way overpaid. That’s just a fact. The solution is to end three public school system as we know it and introduce competition and free markets.

    13. I don’t see anyone here blaming teachers for all of society’s ills.

      We are blaming teacher’s unions doing their level best to prevent any alternatives to their deeply flawed system.

    14. “Competition from charter schools who can pick and choose who they want.”

      That crap again. The main reason that they CAN do that is because of the limitations of educational funding.

  3. The fact you try to lay blame on teachers for all of society’s failings is pretty laughable.

    Who did that? I certainly didn’t see anything in this article implying that.

    “In breaking news, schools who can selectively pick exactly who they want from all of society outdo schools who must take every child, no matter how disadvantaged or otherwise awful for stats.”

    Which is why school choice must be reserved for the rich. It’s only fair.

    1. And you think a couple of $1000 will make a difference when a good private school costs $20K? Private school is still reserved for the rich.

      1. Think a bit harder. You’re so close.

  4. Our schools teach White kids that they are immoral and contemptible if they don’t support the White Genocide that is being carried out by massive 3rd world immigration and forced diversity in Every and Only White countries.

    Their teachers never tell them, “White self-hatred is SICK!!!“

    Those teachers claim to be anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    1. Please cite specific examples.
      So, in this supposed anti-racist society, my wife had the opportunity to observe a ‘troubled kid’ in a class room. He of course was black. Objectively the kid was not behaving any differently than the other kids, but if he did anything out of line, the teacher would immediately escalate and send him to principles office. The white kids, doing the exact same behavior got the “please sit down” “stop taking all the pencils” etc.
      The paranoia you express is pretty much the same paranoia about Mexicans coming into the country, taking all the jobs, raping the women etc. Its racist bullshit.
      You sound much like Republican, afraid of everything. Immigration? Diversity? Oh god, how will we survive?
      See what is REALLY being taught. Not some one-off class in some small college.

      1. “Not some one-off class in some small college.” — “my wife had the opportunity to observe a ‘troubled kid’ in a class room”

        I guess obviously your wife doesn’t work for “some small college”… But instead observed ONE kid in ONE class…. OMG; the worlds all racist!!! ONE KID??? Really?? In ONE class!!!

        You lefties and your projection is absolutely hilarious.

        1. P.S. I was the ONE kid in school that always got sent to the principles office doing exactly what other kids were doing in the ONE class —- but my “race (i.e. racist) card” expired because I never thought the color of ones skin was the most significant factor about them.

      2. con_fuse9
        August.10.2020 at 6:49 pm
        “Please cite specific examples.
        So, in this supposed anti-racist society, my wife had the opportunity to observe a ‘troubled kid’ in a class room. He of course was black…”

        Please cite something other than a claimed anecdote.
        You.
        Are.
        Full.
        Of.
        Shit.
        See down-thread, lefty scum.

      3. So, you’re saying that those public schools you like so much employer racist teachers and fail blacks. Q.E.D.

  5. > The United Teachers Los Angeles co-signed a document with nine other unions and the Democratic Socialists of America calling for a moratorium on all new charter schools and private voucher programs.

    Tells you everything you need to know about the teachers union. My father was a teacher in California for over forty years, and he loathed the CTA until the day he died, for taking his money (he was not a member, but required by law to pay dues) to fund their left wing politics.

    1. And teachers unions are understandably concerned about protecting their members’ health.

      You mean that’s not true and it’s actually about politics? I need to get to my fainting couch.

  6. It’s not just about charter schools: “Their demands include implementing a moratorium on private schools, defunding the police, increasing taxes on the wealthy, implementing Medicare for all, and passing the HEROES Act, which allocated and additional $116 billion in federal education funding to the states”

    For the children

    https://www.kusi.com/a-los-angeles-teachers-union-says-public-schools-should-not-reopen-unless-their-demands-are-met/

    1. I’m still wondering where they got the notion that they’re running the entire country. Granted, no Democrat would ever consider disabusing them of that idea.

    2. I’m surprised. They left out climate change, overpopulation, unilateral nuclear disarmament, “no nukes,” placing control of the means of production into the hands of the workers, and coining silver at a 16:1 ratio to gold!

    3. It seems these laundry lists of demands are becoming more common. Perhaps being doomed to failure is a feature.

  7. ..”and the Democratic Socialists of America…is insisting that before the district can reopen it needs an additional $250 million in overall funding, a federal bailout, Medicare for All, a new wealth tax, a new millionaires tax, and defunding of the police, among other demands.”

    Wouldn’t be socialist without it, right?

  8. United Teachers Los Angeles is insisting that before the district can reopen it needs an additional $250 million in overall funding, a federal bailout, Medicare for All, a new wealth tax, a new millionaires tax, and defunding of the police, among other demands.

    SCHOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLL’S OUT FOR PROGRESSIVISM….

  9. The teachers have been living on their unearned “hero” status for a long time and now it is coming back to bite them. It was clear back in March that many schools used a month to do very little and when they did return they stopped holding students accountable. In our district assignments were not due more than a week before school was done. Why? I used to think they spent the last week closing loose ends and teachers didn’t want to push squirrely students. But during covid they were home bored out of their minds and they still shut down instruction early.

    In our district teachers are not spending their summer preparing. They are not on the clock and so they will spend the month of September slowly getting back into learning and actual instruction won’t kick off until close to October. We were given the choice to go with a virtual school and the distict could not tell us how in-person instruction would look in order to get a useful comparison. And then they whine when parents choose virtual instruction that takes money from the district. Why couldn’t the district tell us what in-person instruction would look like? Because teachers were on summer vacation and couldn’t be bothered to save their careers.

    And you can bet that when school starts up the main excuse for mediocre instruction and lax accountability will be equity driven. Because one kid in the school lacks wi-fi we must not make any kid accountable. meanwhile, the privileged kids won’t sit back and do nothing but will get their kids educated and the gaps will grow despite teacher’s misguided attempts at equity.

    1. You live in a shitty district.
      Around here the principle insisted that every teacher put it the normal hours and in addition to hitting all the regular marks, had to learn how to teach via zoom, track all the students (I got a absentee report that my son wasn’t attending a class… little punk).
      They managed to get chrome books to kids that needed them, they even got the local cable TV company to provide internet access for free for low income households. No excusses. During the summer they are planning to step it up and get more resources (how do you distribute books and things like counting blocks etc.) as well as figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Do you teach 45 minutes with 15 minute breaks or 30 min or longer breaks etc. How best to teach art, music, PE? How to break out into smaller groups? Who’s going to watch the other groups? Lots of questions – no hard answers.
      Accountability starts with the Principle of the school. Oh, and principles are not in the teacher’s union, they can get fired for under performing schools.

      1. con_fuse9
        August.10.2020 at 6:40 pm
        “You live in a shitty district…”

        You.
        Are.
        Full.
        Of.
        Shit.
        See down-thread, lefty scum.

      2. Video based instruction has been around since the 1970s and that’s not how it works. If that’s how your teachers teach online, they are complete idiots and should be fired.

      3. During the summer they are planning to step it up and get more resources (how do you distribute books and things like counting blocks etc.) as well as figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Do you teach 45 minutes with 15 minute breaks or 30 min or longer breaks etc. How best to teach art, music, PE? How to break out into smaller groups?

        Obviously, these “teachers” aren’t qualified for the new teaching environment; why should they learn on the taxpayer’s dime? Fire them and then recreate a public education system with people who actually know what they are doing.

  10. “It’s about protecting a monopoly from losing any students and the funding that goes along with those students,” says Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes Reason TV.

    This has always been the reason that the teacher’s union has always opposed charter schools and vouchers. Without charter schools and school vouchers each school DOES NOT HAVE TO COMPETE for students because there is no other place for the child to go other than to be home schooled and in many of these same states the unions have done all that they can to prevent that also.

    1. The issue is essentially this. The upper middle class want a discount to go to private schools. Low income and lower middle class, even with say a 40% discount, are not going to spend the 20K+ to go to a quality private school (heck many of the private schools around here are $33K).
      The private schools will not take your special need children or your “emotionally disturbed” ones – nice way of saying “trouble makers”.
      Then there are fixed cost. Just because your kid isn’t riding a bus doesn’t mean they can slice 2% off the cost of that bus.
      Bottom line, the slice of the pie for your normal kid that will go into private school is a lot smaller than the $12k that is normally cited as a per child cost.
      And let me through this one at you. Lets say YOU are a highly effective teacher. Do you, go to a private school, take a pay cut and not get all the benefits, or do you go to a public school, get better pay (top teachers in this county get $100K+/year) and can retire after 30years?
      Yeah Yeah, unions make it tough to fire a teacher – but only after the teacher is tenured – until then its relatively easy.

      1. The private schools will not take your special need children or your “emotionally disturbed” ones – nice way of saying “trouble makers”.

        That’s simply not true. Stop lying.

        Then there are fixed cost. Just because your kid isn’t riding a bus doesn’t mean they can slice 2% off the cost of that bus.

        School buses are not a “fixed cost”.

        Bottom line, the slice of the pie for your normal kid that will go into private school is a lot smaller than the $12k that is normally cited as a per child cost.

        It’s a serious problem that US schools spend $12k/student in the first place. Other countries get better results with a fraction of that cost (in terms of $PPP, look it up if you don’t understand it).

        Lets say YOU are a highly effective teacher. Do you, go to a private school, take a pay cut and not get all the benefits, or do you go to a public school, get better pay (top teachers in this county get $100K+/year) and can retire after 30years?

        If I’m a highly effective teacher, I go to a place that values teaching, i.e., not a public school.

        do you go to a public school, get better pay (top teachers in this county get $100K+/year) and can retire after 30years?

        Yes, a complete ripoff. Public school teachers should be required to teach until retirement age at 65. Salaries should be lower, and schools should have very few administrators, with teachers doing most of the administration. You know, the way countries with better educational outcomes do things.

    2. 1) Charter schools don’t take the special needs kids, so their cost per kid is less.
      2) There is competition. School ratings and rankings directly affect the value of the homes in the area. In my country, the top of the line public high schools at about $300K to the cost of a house in the neighborhood. Now, these schools have a reputation of being “public privates” (education as good as a private school at the cost of a public). Bottom line, around here, if the school doesn’t perform, heads roll. Not every school has the aggressive PTA and tax payers, but there are enough. Principles here hire who they want (minimum qualifications of course) and have to deal with the parents when Johnny can’t read.
      Bottom line, the truth is always somewhere in between what people like DeAngelis says and what the unions say. Do your own research (if you care).

      1. Let’s see if this works or gets eaten by the squirrels.
        Your bullshit has been called.

        1. Since Reason seems really upset about a link to an article in Autism Parent Magazine proving once again that lefties lie and do so hoping the rest of us are equally stupid, we’ll let out newest brain damaged lefty do a search for “Are Charter Schools A Good Option For Kids With Special Needs?”

          And then:
          “…2) There is competition. School ratings and rankings directly affect the value of the homes in the area…”I’m sure n-b-d-l will explain how school quality drives home prices in SF’s St. Francis Wood district.
          Doesn’t that sort of spinning make you dizzy?

        2. Further, perhaps charter-school teachers, since they can be fired, might not use the classroom to promote their ideology:
          “San Francisco teacher defends lesson plan calling Donald Trump racist, sexist”
          https://www.cbsnews.com/news/san-francisco-teacher-lesson-plan-donald-trump-racist-sexist/
          But as a brain-damaged-lefty, that’s fine by you, right?

        3. And the government-school teachers, protected by their union are not at all partisan, right?
          “San Francisco teachers’ union lesson plan calls Trump racist, sexist”
          https://www.studentnewsdaily.com/daily-news-article/san-francisco-teachers-union-lesson-plan-calls-trump-racist-sexist/
          Hey, you fucking slimy piece of lefty shit, what have you to say?

      2. You’re a teacher union rep right? Because everything you said was wrong.

      3. 1) Charter schools don’t take the special needs kids, so their cost per kid is less.

        Charter schools students generally are performing worse than public school students when they enter the school. So, wrong.

        2) There is competition. School ratings and rankings directly affect the value of the homes in the area. In my country, the top of the line public high schools at about $300K to the cost of a house in the neighborhood.

        This is a giveaway: you’re a foreign troll.

  11. Fuck the Marxist indoctrination camps they like to call “school”. If you are able home school and be done with them.

    1. Fine, but I want a refund of that part of my property and other taxes which fund public education. It’s only fair. It’s for the children…my children, which is as it should be.

      1. One of that many reasons government should not be in the business of funding schools. If government just did it’s fucking job everyone’s taxes could be equal, and overall much lower than they are today.

  12. Q: What’s the difference between Democratic Socialists and Communists?

    A: Communists are honest about their beliefs

    1. Communism is the end goal, and socialism is the means of getting there. Democratic socialism is the first stage, where socialists use the democratic process to get into power. Once in power, their work of reeducating and radically transforming society begins. People like AOC, Sanders, and Obama even tell you so.

  13. No matter what school a student attends, whether it be public, charter, or parochial, most states require that the student passes a test proving he is qualified to graduate from that class and move to the next. If we ensure that those tests are accurate representations of what society needs and what we should expect from the schools, and hold all schools responsible for meeting those requirements, it should not matter where the child goes to school. If each school or school district gets the same funding per child, then all schools would hire the teachers and staff necessary to teach their number of students. If more students move over to charter schools, then so should the teachers. If there is less money going to public schools because they have fewer students, the only teachers that should be hurt there would be the ones that are no longer needed, not all of them.

  14. Back about ahundred years or so ago, some muckety mucks which grouo included John Dewey put together a plan to implement a publically funded and controlled education system, and made it mandatory for all based on age. They wanted to include aVERYONE in the nation, but there were some folks who managed to carve out a few exceptioins.. private schools, and homeschoolin,g both vigourously fought against by the poohbahs putting their plan together.

    They got it, then the unions came along and carried the water for the system, bringing in first state, then national level management, including curriculum. Then came the money games.. smaller class sizes, more teachers per student, mor adminisrtators per teacher, etc.
    THEN came the marxification of the curriculum, the dumbing down of it, the introduction of corrupt moral teacings, such as sex ed, perversion ed, “acceptance” and normalisation of sezual perversion, and, of course, back in about 1962or so, the complete removal of God from the entire system.

    Fester for another fifty years, pour cubic money into it, istitutionalise everything, put near total control into the hands of that oh so “helpful” union control, and we have the lousey prodect of today’s gummit skewlz…… now the unions have completely munged up the mess, and “because covid” parents are taking their kids elsewhere because the lazy union pwoermongers refuse to work, themselves, they also refuse to let anyone else replace them…. meanwhile the cost per student for K-12 “education” has well more than tripled over the last generation, the product is abominable by any metric, the rot has percolated up into the university system, even private ones, such that hardly anyone is getting a real education any more, and doing so at exponentialy increasing rates, saddling a generation with impossible debt and no skills for the job market.

    Now the ulnions are awakening to the fact that OTHERS outside their walls are seeing, for the first time in large numbers, the unavoidable FACT that their Emperor hath not clothes, they are moving to close not only their own doors, (not working yet continuing to accept and cash their overlarge paychecks) but anyone else’s doors that may even remotely resemble a safe “alternate pathway” for the education of the children….. MEANWHILE anyone who is not ‘homeless” or “unhoused” continues to pay for this deeply flawed product commonly referred to as “an educatio”, despite the clear FACT that millioins of kids have not walked through the doors at any bpulically funded institution of learning at any level since last March or so, and likely will not, in at least some sttes, until perhaps late 2021.
    Thus not only have I, the property and sales and income tax payer, been profoundly cheated by these union trachers and their bosses, by the greatly defective product I’ve been FORCED to pay for, but since March there has been NO product dleivered, and likely will not be for many months to come.

    Maybe its time a bunch of taxpayers stand up together and TELL the unions and government dweebs in their pockets “NO MORE. WE’RE DONE”.

    1. The civil war began with the murder of George Floyd. Everything else now is escalation.

  15. “Families are flocking to charters in part because they were poorly served by district schools in the spring.” But the parents elected the politicians who enabled the teachers’ union.

    1. But the parents elected the politicians who enabled the teachers’ union.

      No, they didn’t. Married families with children lean Republican.

  16. Public education main concerns have always been money, power and control.

  17. Satan creates Human Demons, How, you allow him to seared your brain so you have no conscience which makes lying so very easy. Example, a town is burning and you say, “no it’s not burning” See, it’s completely up to you. Satan can not make you do anything, but you allow him to seared your brain, it’s a choice you make. American government has way too many liberal demons

  18. While not in favor of Executive Order, it would be tempting to me to be in favor an Executive Order mandating that any Federal monies for education travel with the Student. Could be in the form of a voucher or some other mechanism.

    The jist would be to provide the freedom to choose where you want your kids to go to school. Force poor performing schools to improve or face extinction. In light of the lockdowns and the difference of opinions with in school and remote education, the freedom to choose is even more important.

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  20. “School districts around the country are weighing students’ education needs against the danger that in-person instruction could cause COVID-19 to spread. And teachers unions are understandably concerned about protecting their members’ health.”

    It’s preachy crap like this that makes reason.com trash journalism.

  21. Just annoying that Reason is completely biased against public schools. These are not union schools but our schools. None of the states that I have lived in have unions that could negotiate for the teachers. Show a little balance, show a little class – instead of ranting against our schools, our teachers. Unions are not evil – they represent teachers who care about their students. Those charter/private schools you favor also have serious problems you never discuss.

    1. The question is whether families should have the freedom to choose. That’s all Reason is advocating for.
      What’s the harm in that?
      The unions are fighting against that freedom becoming more prevalent.
      Shouldn’t parents be able to decide which school is best for their children?

    2. “Just annoying that Reason is completely biased against public schools…”

      Not nearly as annoying as lefty assertions claiming to be arguments.

  22. The Teachers Unions are the worst kind of unions. Everything they do is HARMFUL to the education of our youth!

  23. School districts around the country are weighing students’ education needs against the danger that in-person instruction could cause COVID-19 to spread. And teachers unions are understandably concerned about protecting their members’ health.

    Well, there is an easy fix for that: their members can quit their jobs, just like anybody else whose job has been destroyed by (government intervention on) COVID.

    It’s a little much for them to expect to get paid for not doing the job they were hired for, in-person instruction.

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  25. Public schools are a joke, just like the USPS, but at least the USPS actually delivers mail as advertised…most of the time.

  26. The teachers union is forcing all the parents to find alternatives from private schools, home schooling, tutors and on line classes. A chance for many to find alternatives they may like long after the virus has passed.
    Sowing the seeds of their own demise much like auto workers in the 1970’s. The union fought against automating the production line because it cost jobs and the Japanese manufacturers took advantage of lower costs and more consistent quality.
    The unions position will be the best thing for education in the long run.

    1. Unions are destroying their members jobs by protectionism. I know, it’s counter-intuitive. So is govt. protectionism, in general. The principle is the same, namely, anti-individual choice, pro-collectivism.
      What’s good for the individual is good for the collective, the common good, society. Socialists refuse to learn this. They value authoritarianism over freedom, in spite of the harm it does. This willful blindness keeps coercive govt. in power, the public enslaved.

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