Monday, February 8, 2010

Others Are Screaming it As Well

The following piece appeared in the Washington Times.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: U.S. public education overdue for overhaul

By any reasonable metric, the public education system under the political power and control of the teachers unions has failed and deserves to be condemned for its betrayal of public trust.

There was a time when public education deserved the pride and support of the people. No longer. It has become an infected carbuncle of public mismanagement, self-serving employees and the arrogant wielding of authority over parents, children and taxpayers.

The education establishment, aided by its unions, has failed to educate the children placed in its charge by parents, the public and even aspiring rank-and-file, dues-paying teachers. The education establishment has sacrificed its students to retain unchallenged its monopoly of noncompetitive services, its acceptance of defective quality of outcomes and the retention of nonperforming staff. It has promoted excessive costs while turning a blind eye to the employability of graduates, their comparative international standing and the physical security of students.

For this record of performance, it has fashioned a chokehold on school boards that depend on union support. As a result, it has preserved its public funding from competition, avoided reforms that call for pay for performance, separations for incompetence and parents' authority over the education of their children through vouchers. School boards rubber-stamp their wage proposals, promotion policies, fringe benefits, increases in education budgets, priorities in terms of expenditures, the credentials and licensing of peers and more.

Just out of view are the uncovered liabilities of health and retirement benefits that far exceed those that people choose to buy for themselves, benefits that will require higher taxes in the near future, an increase in the deficit or bankruptcy. And who is to pay for this transparent self-indulgence? The children.

A betrayal of trust is an ugly reality that cries out for rebellion. This abuse by government can be neither sustained nor tolerated.

Bethesda, Md.

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