The Government Education Blob

Education in America is a monopoly and monopolies don’t improve, they just suck more money out of the taxpayers.  In every other sector of the economy, free market competition forces providers to improve constantly.  That is why things get better and often, cheaper. And when there is no competition, like in government controlled education, what we see is government dumbing down our kids, blaming it on parents and the “right-wing” while increasing throwing money at the problem they created.

The left continually tells us that like healthcare (ObamaCare) education is too important to leave to market competition.    Patients and parents aren’t real consumers because thy don’t have the expertise to know which hospital or school is best.  That is why they must be centrally planned by government “experts.”

Those “experts”  have been in charge for years.  School reformers call them the “BLOB.”   Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform says that attempts to improve the government monopoly on education continues to run “smack into federations, alliances, departments, councils, boards, commissions, panels, herds, flocks and convoys that make up the education industrial complex, or the “Blob.”  Taken individually, they were frustrating, each with its own bureaucracy, but taken as a whole they were and are maddening in their resistance to change.  Not really a wall – they always talk about change – but more like quicksand, or a tar pit where ideas slowly sink.”

The Blob claims that teachers are underpaid. Yet, American teachers average more than $50,000 a yea, exceeding what most architects, accountants and nurses make.

The Blob constantly demands more money.  Yet, increasing the money thrown at the problem the government created has brought no improvement.  When the Blob is in control, waste and indifference live on.

The Blob claims that public education is “the great equalizer.”  Rich and poor and different races mix and learn together.  It’s a beautiful concept –  but its a lie.  Rich parents buy homes in neighborhoods with better schools or send their children to private schools.

The Blob’s most powerful argument is that poor people need government run schools. Yet, these are the children that need decent education the most in order to improve their situation in life.

Consider some truly destitute places like the poorest parts of Africa, India and China which copied America’s “free public education.” Their children also suffer and yet they still outperform American students.  How is that possible especially when their government schools are just as horrible as America’s?  Turns out, even in the worst slums, parents try to send their kids to private, for-profit schools to get a real education.  How can the world’s poorest people afford tuition and  why would they pay for what their governments offer for free?  Because they know that the only way for their children to thrive is to get a good education and that requires private schools.   Even small villages in India and Africa have numerous private schools that outperform government schools at a fraction of the teacher costs.

As in America, government officials in those countries scoff at private schools and parents who choose them.  A woman who runs government schools in Nigeria calls such parents “ignoramuses.”  They aren’t – and thanks to competition, their children won’t be, either.    Low income Americans are far richer than the poor people of China, India and Africa. So, if competitive private education can work in Beijing, Calcutta and Nairobi, it can work in the United States.

We just need to find a way around the BLOB.

Jonah Goldberg, in an op-ed for the L.A. Times, Do Away with Public Schools, writes that one of the surest ways to leave a kid behind is to hand him over to the government.   Americans want universal education, just as they want universally safe food. But nobody believes that the government should run 90% of the restaurants, farms and supermarkets. Why should it run 90% of the schools — particularly when it gets terrible results?   Consider Washington, D.C., home of the nation’s most devoted government-lovers and the city with the worst public schools in the country, even though D.C. schools have been in a state of “reform” for nearly 40 years.

Private, parochial and charter schools get better results. Parents know this. Applications for vouchers in the district dwarf the available supply, and home schooling has exploded.  What would be so terrible about government mandating that every kid has to go to school, and providing subsidies and oversight when necessary, but then getting out of the way? 

While there is a consensus in America that every child should get an education, there’s no consensus that public schools need to do the job.  Private, parochial and charter schools get better results.

Source:  The Education Blob by John Stossel

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *