Have Teachers Unions Finally Overplayed Their Hand?

According to the most recent data from School Digger, a website that aggregates test score results, 23 of the top 30 schools in New York in 2019 were charters. The feat is all the more impressive because those schools sported student bodies that were more than 80% black and Hispanic, and some two-thirds of the kids qualified for free or discount lunches. The Empire State’s results were reflected nationally. In a U.S. News & World Report ranking released the same year, three of the top 10 public high schools in the country were charters, as were 23 of the top 100—even though charters made up only 10% of the nation’s 24,000 public high schools.

We are told constantly by defenders of the education status quo that the learning gap is rooted in poverty, segregation and “systemic” racism. We’re told that blaming traditional public schools for substandard student outcomes isn’t fair given the raw material that teachers have to work with. But if a student’s economic background is so decisive, or if black students need to be seated next to whites to understand Shakespeare and geometry, how can it be that so many of the most successful public schools are dominated by low-income minorities?

Some will argue that charter schools obtain these results by picking the best students, which isn’t true. Of the 43 states that have charters, all but three—Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming—mandate that lotteries be used to choose students randomly. Washington Post education writer Jay Mathews reports that even states that don’t officially require the use of lotteries use them anyway or employ “other impartial ways of admitting students.”

A second popular argument against charter schools is that they benefit from having motivated students, which is true but misleading. Numerous empirical studies have shown that charter students outperformed similarly motivated peers in traditional public schools who applied to a charter but weren’t admitted. But there’s an even more fundamental problem with the “motivation” explanation of charter success, as Thomas Sowell explains in his most recent book, “Charter Schools and Their Enemies.”

“While those parents who enter their children’s names in the lotteries for admission to charter schools may well be more motivated to promote their children’s education, and to cooperate with schools in doing so, those who win in these lotteries are greatly outnumbered by those who do not win,” Mr. Sowell writes. “When charter schools take a fraction of the children from motivated families, why does that prevent the traditional public schools from comparably educating the remaining majority of children from those motivated families?”

Source: Have Teachers Unions Finally Overplayed Their Hand?

What’s Wrong With Public Schools? It’s the Unions

To understand what’s gone wrong with big-city public education — where militant teachers union bosses dictate urban school policy and politics — just look to Chicago and the saga of Sarah Chambers.

Her embarrassing story has gone worldwide. But it does have a message.

It tells public school parents who want their kids back in school, and property taxpayers, everything they need to know:

That they don’t count. And their children don’t count.

Which is why some parents are leaving shutdown cities like Chicago to find places where their children can benefit from in-classroom learning rather than be dumbed down by Zoom instruction, which fails the kids.

And it is another reason, for the sake of all kids — but especially low-income children trapped in large, substandard public school systems — that there must be real school choice.

Chambers is a Chicago Teachers Union leader who was part of a union delegation that visited Venezuela in 2019 and praised its socialist government. On her social media accounts — which were under Sarah4Justice before she deleted them — she repeatedly posted entries telling teachers to stay out of classrooms and thwart Chicago school officials’ plans to reopen this week.

Source: What’s Wrong With Public Schools? It’s the Unions

In 2021, is there such a thing as a “margin of fraud” in elections?

With computer voting machines, it’s entirely possible that the “margin of fraud” concept has been superseded by pre-programmed victories. One of the things I check out every day is the Morning Report by J.J. Sefton over at Ace . I have absolutely no idea how J.J. manages to process and summarize that much material but every day, there it is, all processed and summarized.


Unionizing federal workers opened the door to a level of corruption that even Franklin D. Roosevelt, a hard core wealth-class socialist wouldn’t contemplate.

For those unfamiliar with the problem, in a normal union situation, both labor and management have skin in the game. Both want the company to survive and both are reliant on the marketplace for money. If either gets too greedy, they risk killing the goose that’s keeping their golden eggs flowing.

In the government context, though, neither of the two parties has any skin in the game. Labor understandably wants more money and the government representative has an interest in getting more money for labor, in exchange for labor’s promise to donate to the Democrat party. (It’s always about Democrats, since JFK started this scam.) The taxpayer is not at the table. He’s just the endless piggy bank. This is how you end up with a federal labor force that’s 90% Democrat and is willing to go to any lengths to keep a reforming Republican from getting elected — and, if that Republican gets elected, will violate any laws (because they’ll protect each other) to destroy him.

Source: In 2021, is there such a thing as a “margin of fraud” in elections?

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Fight to Keep Schools Closed Has Proven Thomas Sowell Right About Teachers’ …


The Fight to Keep Schools Closed Has Proven Thomas Sowell Right About Teachers’ Unions.

Their willingness to put children last and fight to keep schools closed has proven once and for all that teachers’ unions do not, in fact, have kids’ best interests at heart.

Why have our elected officials chosen to shut down schools despite all the evidence?

Contrary to what you may think, it is not primarily because of scientific recommendations made by experts, but rather largely due to deals cut between politicians and teachers’ unions. This is evidenced by a working paper authored by two political science professors that looked at over 10,000 school districts across the country. It found that regardless of the virus’s actual prevalence in local communities, districts with stronger teachers’ unions were less likely to reopen schools for in-person learning.

In New York City, for example, the United Federation of Teachers struck a deal with Mayor Bill de Blasio. They agreed that teachers would only return to the classroom if the mayor promised to re-close schools if the city’s COVID-19 positivity rate—the percentage of tests coming back positive—hit 3 percent. The positivity rate inevitably rose above that low 3 percent bar, and the schools were promptly closed down again.

If science had actually been paramount to this decision, it would be important to note that while the city-wide positivity rate was 3 percent, the positivity rate within schools themselves was only 0.15 percent. There was no actual scientific reason to close schools down again. But far more influential than scientific considerations were raw politics—raw politics at the expense of children’s education.


Source: ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Fight to Keep Schools Closed Has Proven Thomas Sowell Right About Teachers’ …

Teachable Union Moments

Lesson plans are a teacher’s daily guide for what students need to learn and how it will be taught. Because educators are always looking for new and interesting ways to engage kids, I have a few ideas that can be used to further student knowledge.


NEA president Lily Eskelsen García is vying for the Secretary of Education Secretary position, and some think she has a pretty good shot at getting it. In the past, as a hardcore unionista, she has referred to teacher performance metrics as “the mark of the devil.” She also claims that charter schools are “very misguided school reforms.” And just for good measure, she told a gathering in Michigan in 2014 that some school reformers are like zombies that are “eating our children’s brains.” As the union faithful were fawning over the above words, another comment by García has actually stunned them. Talking to a progressive political advocacy organization in 2015, it was recently revealed that she referred to special needs kids as “chronically tarded” and “medically annoying.” The hole she dug for herself was widened and deepened when she tried to explain that what she had meant to say was, er, um, “tardy” – and that the second gaffe was a reference to students who try to annoy their teachers when they have a bad day.

Source: Teachable Union Moments

Growth of the Pod

Homeschoolers are a bête noire for teachers’ unions. When children learn at home, it translates to less control, money, and power for the public education complex. The National Education Association periodically adopts resolutions stipulating that homeschooling families “cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience.” The union also insists on instruction “ by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency ” and a curriculum “approved by the state department of education.” In California, the union got its wish in March 2008, when an appeals court ruled that parents who teach children at home must be credentialed by the state .

Source: Growth of the Pod

Charter Schools Dodge a Bullet

C Two bills that would have deeply wounded the popular schools of choice are dead…for now.

Last week, two seemingly sure-shot bills were deep-sixed in the California legislature. AB 1506 would have placed a ceiling on the number of charter schools allowed in the state – the magic number being those in existence at the end of this year. A new school could open only if another had closed. Additionally, the more draconian SB 756 would have placed a moratorium on any new schools whatsoever until Jan. 1, 2022.

California Policy Center

The specter of unregulated schools was raised, but:this provokes the snark:

CTA president Eric Heins used the standard union mantra by insisting that the charter school industry in California has risen “without any accountability or transparency.” (Memo to Heins: Stop your hypocritical rant about accountability. California’s latest NAEP scores are pathetic. On the 2017 test, the state was near the bottom nationally, with 69 percent of 4th grade students not proficient in both math and reading. So maybe harping only on charter “accountability” is not a good idea.)


Frankly, the data keep showing that charter schools outperform public schools in many ways. If they’re so bad, lacking accountability and everything else, what does that say about public schools?