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November 28, 2008
Obama kids to skip DC public schools
Jonah Goldberg thinks it is fine for Barack Obama to send his kids to private school. I agree. But he also argues it is criminal that in D.C, the public school spending per student at $13,000 per student per year, is 3rd highest of the 100 largest public school systems in the country, but D. C schools are 100th out of 100 on expenditures for instruction. I wonder where all that money went?
And the quality of the teachers, as Goldberg points out, leaves something to be desired as well. The problem with No Child Left Behind is not an absence of federal money, but poor results for all the money already spent .
The most regressive force in education in America are the teachers unions, who will fight any effort that erodes their monopoly over the money, and the bad results that go with it. This includes their fight against merit pay, vouchers, alternative schools. The teachers unions are a powerful force in the Democratic Party. Do you think progress is coming on this front in the next few years? Don't bet on it. But there will be demands for more federal money for education -- pouring good money after bad.
I was a teacher for 4 years in the New York public schools, many years before Britney Spears was even born (the date from which many young voters trace their beginning knowledge of history) and a union chapter chairman as well.