Republished on VDARE.COM on February 16, 2003
The Worm in The Apple
February 13, 2003 Ron Smith's Something to Say
(February 13, 2003) The revelation that the beleaguered Baltimore City public school system is paying 34 staff members more than $100,000 per year in salaries, overtime and bonuses ties in rather neatly with a guest appearance tomorrow (Friday, February 14th) on my show by Peter Brimelow.
Brimelow, a longtime financial journalist, has examined the monopoly government schools enjoy in the U.S. has written a bombshell book, The Worm in the Apple: How The Teacher Unions Are Destroying American Education. In it, he argues that American taxpayers, desperate to educate their kids, have poured trillions of dollars down a rat hole over the past several decades without any improvement being shown in student achievement. He lays the blame on the huge education establishment epitomized by the teacher's unions, which have used their political clout to forestall any competition.
The result is observable all around us: bloated school budgets, lackluster results, and, ironically, a situation that renders schoolroom teachers themselves impotent to achieve the ostensible goal of education – well taught kids. His research makes clear what many of us have come to realize about the government schools: that while they are failing to better educate their wards, they are extremely successful in their actual goals, which are to build their influence with politicians, ever expand their honey-pot of taxpayer dollars, and construct a system strong enough to beat off any attempts to subject it to market-driven forces that would reward success and punish failure.
Brimelow doesn't just kvetch about the sorry state of American public education, he also lays the groundwork for real reform, "including allowing teachers real choice in representation through collective bargaining reform, giving teachers a voice in the allocation of dues through Paycheck Protection, and marketizing education through school choice.
Join us Friday afternoon at 3:05pm to hear more from Peter Brimelow. This is not teacher bashing, but rather an argument against an educratic bureaucracy that's dumbing down the kids it's supposed to educate while dedicating itself to rent-seeking parasitism.