Saturday, December 19, 2015

Where's the Outrage From the Champions of the Downtrodden

In July of this year, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, a full year before the nominating convention.  Three months later, the National Education Association announced its support for the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State.  There was no controversy at all attending either announcement as both faded from the news cycle very quickly. But there should have been have been rioting in the streets.


Because teachers unions hate school choice and would prefer that kids stuck in failing schools remain stuck.  Or, if you think that characterization is a bit too harsh, teachers hate competition, even though competition tends to make everybody who competes better.  But why compete if you have the money to ensure your near-monopoly power stays intact right?  That's the implicit question asked and answered jointly by the NEA and AFT.  Combined, the two organizations were ranked a strong third in organizational political contributions in the 2014 election cycle.  Separately they were in a more distant third and seventh place.  See the top 10 chart below courtesy of

Now ,with that in mind, take a look at this brief article about the latest shenanigans in Washington regarding school choice:


"Somebody owes John Boehner an apology. The former House Speaker was routinely attacked as a faux conservative who sold out the conservative agenda. Well, Mr. Boehner is gone and the agenda-setting has been left to Members and their committees. One embarrassing result is that the end-of-year omnibus spending bill puts a big question mark over a rare conservative education victory: the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.
The omnibus funds the program for fiscal year 2016 but fails to reauthorize it. This means that 20 years after the program was first debated, 10 years after it started, four years after Mr. Boehner revived it after President Obama had killed it, and a few months after the House passed a bill to reauthorize it, we’ll have to fight the battle all over again.
Worse, no one will explain how Nancy Pelosi prevailed despite Republican majorities in both houses. Speaker Paul Ryan’s office says, “It’s pretty simple. Democrats refused to accept a popular program to help low-income kids get a better education.” A spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee chaired by Hal Rogers, which helped negotiate the omnibus, says only that “as this was a compromise agreement, not all priorities could be retained.”
Perhaps this reflects the imbalance of passion. Democrats try to kill vouchers every year because unions demand it. Never mind that Opportunity Scholarship recipients have higher graduation rates and more parental satisfaction than D.C. public school students. Or that the children who get these scholarships are from households with an average household income below $21,000 a year.
Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform puts it this way: “Democrats oppose this program not because it is failing but because it is succeeding. They fear that as these choice programs succeed, poor and minority moms and dads are going to figure out the Democrats are selling their kids out to the teachers unions.” Now that Mr. Boehner is gone, there appears to be no comparable champion in the House GOP conference willing to fight for poor, minority children."

Somebody ought to tell the protesters all around the country that Freddie Gray (may he rest in peace) is dead and all the picketing in the world won't bring him back.  But there's a whole generation that's as good as dead, whether or not they ever have a police encounter, if we don't intervene - and soon. They should march on local board of education offices, with the same vigor and vitriol that is on display at every rally against the police and "the man", and demand school choice.

Black lives matter indeed.


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