There is no greater impediment to quality education in America than public sector teachers' unions. Their interest is in money and power, not educating America's youth. These unions protect public education as a monopoly regardless of results. These unions protect the jobs of dues paying members irrespective of their competence. These unions constantly stump for more tax payer dollars to be funnelled through education for their own benefit. As noted repeatedly on this blog, nationally, we have more than doubled educational spending per pupil in real dollars over the past four decades while reading scores have remained stagnant and math and science scores have declined precipitously.
But what about Wisconsin, where education spending is 12th highest in the nation and the teachers' union is demanding that Gov. Walker's plan to limit collective bargaining be defeated "for the children?" This from CNS News:
Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.
In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”
The test also showed that the reading abilities of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders had not improved at all between 1998 and 2009 despite a significant inflation-adjusted increase in the amount of money Wisconsin public schools spent per pupil each year.
. . . [F]rom 1998 to 2008, Wisconsin public schools increased their per pupil spending by $4,245 in real terms yet did not add a single point to the reading scores of their eighth graders and still could lift only one-third of their eighth graders to at least a “proficient” level in reading. . . .
In fiscal 2008, the federal government provided $669.6 million in subsidies to the public schools in Wisconsin.
In a marketplace with competition, institutions showing results this poor would soon go bankrupt. Yet Wisconsin's teachers' union wants us to side with them "for the children." I hope there is a special place in hell reserved just for them.
What the unions are doing in Wisconsin has nothing whatsoever to do with benefits "for the children" and everything to do with money and power. What Obama and the DNC are doing in Wisconsin likewise has nothing to do with benefiting children and everything to do with preserving their most lucrative constituency - public sector union employees. George Will, surveying the events in Wisconsin today, inferred three lessons:
First, the Democratic Party is the party of government, not only because of its extravagant sense of government's competence and proper scope, but also because the party's base is government employees. Second, government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed. Third, Obama's "move to the center" is fictitious.
1. Public Sector Unions: A Toxin, A Crisis & An Opportunity
2. Read'n, Writ'n & Unioniz'n
3. What, Marx Or Lenin Weren't Available?
4. Gov. Chris Christie, What Leadership Looks Like
5. California: From Riches To Public Sector Unions To Ruin
6. Detroit's Public School System, School Board & Teachers' Union
7. Unions & Teachers: The Alpha & Omega
8. Living With Public Sector Unions
9. Public Sector Unions
10. Obama, The Stimulus & Teachers' Unions
11. Yet Another Reason Why Public Sector Unions Should Be Done Away With
12. Grand Theft Democrat
13. Another Win For Teachers Unions, Another Defeat For DC Students
14. Reason 10,001 Why Public Sector Unions Need To Be Outlawed
15. Public Sector Unions Go To War To Prevent Democratic Change In Wisconsin
16. Change You Can't Have: Obama & The DNC Interfere In Wisconsin State Politics
17. Do Public Sector Workers Have A Fundamental Right To Organize?
18. An Instant Classic
19. Boehner, Obama & The DNC: The State Public Sector Union Issues Gets Nationalized
20. Wisconsin - What's At Stake21. A Democrat & Former NYC Schools Chancellor Condemns Teachers' Unions
22. For The Children? Really?