As for all these teachers walking out of work and legislators running away from their jobs and states? From an article attributed at the bottom...Give parents vouchers and have schools compete for students and the level of education will rise. The best teachers will get the best jobs at the best schools. Otherwise, when the government school unions refuse pay cuts, layoffs will take the youngest teaching talent and throw them onto the streets.
"...As Bill Cosby and many other liberals are now convinced, the only solution that will produce change at the grass-roots level that will benefit every single individual is consumer choice. See www.schoolchoiceweek.com for the national leaders of the left and right. Consumer choice gives the power to the individual parent to decide what is best for his or her child with the funds following the parent's choice of school. In addition, as schools respond to the better-informed and more caring parents, the schools will be forced to improve for the benefit of students whose parents do not care, of which there are many.
This is the way that consumer services get better and better in America because all voluntary associations must respond to the more informed consumers. I do not know anything about electronics, nor do I care, but my electronic and digital communication devices are constantly improving.
Absent monopoly power and government control, when consumer choice is allowed to operate, then providers of services, such as schools, have to do a good job or they will fail. This is the major reason that some private schools are better than public schools on average, because parents care enough and the schools have to provide a good environment or they will go out of business. Their teachers and staff are not usually “better” than the public schools' employees. There are good people in both systems. However, political control models produce scarcity and rationing; they do not produce an abundance of good services.
I wish that I were wrong, but 20 years of involvement in public education reform efforts, including representing school districts as legal counsel, being designated a Hero for Children by the State Board of Education, and numerous activities to try to improve public education have convinced me that parental choice is the only method that will ever produce significant change from the bottom up.
We do not need to empower the mayor with more political power. We need to give his constituents power to choose — power for a better life for their children. Now is the time for bipartisan solutions which will help students."
Allan E. Parker is president of the Justice Foundation.