Tag Archives: John Stossel

John Stossel explains what’s great about America

Here are all the parts of the documentary. (H/T Timmy from Rational Theism)

Here’s the quick summary of what the documentary is about.

Part 1 of 6.

Part 2 of 6.

Part 3 of 6.

Part 4 of 6.

Part 5 of 6.

Part 6 of 6.

You may also like this video by Dennis Prager explaining the American trinity.

Happy Independence Day!

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John Stossel documentary on public school costs and performance

I found this documentary on the Prof Blog.

I recommend that you watch Clip 4, then Clip 5, then Clip 6.

Part 1:

Guest Ben Chavis: (who runs a charter school)

  • Ben explains how bad schools teach self esteem and victimology
  • Ben explains how good schools teach knowledge
  • Ben took the worst school in Oakland and made it the best
  • Ben talks about the importance of firing bad teachers
  • Ben talks about the importance of discipline
  • Ben explains how students that miss school have to come on Saturday
  • Ben explains how his school gets the least of money
  • Ben explains how class sizes and teach certifications don’t matter
  • Ben says that public schools don’t need more money to perform

Guest Andrew Coulson: (Cato Institute)

  • public schools spend 4 times more per pupil (K through 12) than in 1974
  • but the reading success rate has stayed the same

Part 2:

Guest Ron Packard: (K12 online school)

  • using a public school curriculum delivered online
  • 70,000 students are learning online at their own pace
  • they have more poorer students and yet score higher than average
  • flexible schedules allows more time for sports and activities
  • the unions attacked the online schools even though they are better
  • the politicians listen to the unions and limited the number of students

Part 3:

Guest Janine Turner: (Founder of “Constituting America”)

  • children need to learn about the founding documents of the USA
  • children need to understand what America unique
  • children need to understand the notion of limited government
  • the founding documents are basic to understanding everything else

Guest Colin Hanna: (Founder of “Let Freedom Ring”)

  • the Constution is very important for people to read out loud
  • it’s also good to read it with others

Part 4: (A debate! Between Michelle Rhee and some lazy union thug!)

Guest Michelle Rhee: (Superintendent of Washington, D.C. schools)

  • public school tenure means having a job life regardless of performance
  • you can judge how teachers are performing look at test score improvement
  • you can’t look at teacher performance reviews they are always good
  • you have to look at the test score improvement year over year
  • it is almost impossible to get a teacher fired even if they are awful
  • Rhee fired lots of administrative people and costs went down
  • scores went up, and now DC is no longer the worst school system
  • more money doesn’t make students learn better
  • DC used to spend the MOST money, and had the WORST performance
  • the key to improvement is holding people accountable to perform

Guest Noah Gotbaum: (NYC Local School Board President/son of a union boss)

  • teachers aren’t to blame! most of them are excellent!
  • firing bad teachers is a bad idea! that won’t solve anything!
  • the DC schools haven’t improved! test scores don’t measure improvement!
  • we need more money! money will solve everything! it’s for the children!
  • you’re scaring the poor teachers when you talk about firing them!
  • Michelle Rhee is evil! Evil! She’s a witch! Burn her! Burn her!
  • those gains in test scores are not real! You can’t measure results!
  • test scores going up doesn’t mean that the students are doing better
  • the causes are more complicated and systemic but give us more money!

(I snarkified everything the union guy said – he didn’t really say that stuff like that)

Part 5: (Q&A)

  • Question for Noah: How much money is enough?Noah: well, other schools spend lots of money!
  • Question for Ben: Where does more money go?Ben: its impossible to tell how much is spent on administration vs teachers
  • Question for Noah: What about a voucher system?Noah: no! don’t let parents choose! that would deprive bad teachers of lifetime jobs!Noah: vouchers aren’t enough to cover a private school education!

    Ben: top private schools cost 10,000 a year less than half of NYC public schools

  • Question for Andrew: Is there any legislation to provide vouchers?Andrew: yes there is legislation to create voucher projects
  • Question for Ben: Are you cherry-picking the best students?Ben: every kid who applies is accepted there is no cherry pickingBen: we have more poor students than the average school

(I snarkified everything the union guy said – he didn’t really say that stuff like that)

Part 6:

John Stossel:

  • Americans spend way way more than other countries and we score much lower
  • teacher unions are still complaining for more money
  • teachers average 50,000 in salary a year for 9 months of work
  • teachers make way more than chemists, computer programmers and nurses
  • and school administrators waste tons of money on school
  • we spend four times as much per pupil since 1974
  • the real problem is lack of competition
  • the public school system is a government monopoly
  • monopolies are bad for consumers: less competition = high cost and low value
  • monopolies create worthless junk that no one wants
  • competition makes service/product providers accountable

Awesome! Down with government monopolies! The segment on online schools gives me hope – maybe there is a way to turn the young people away from secularism (= moral relativism) and socialism. This is another sign that there may be a way to turn this thing around if we can just get the government out of the education business and let parents choose schools that produce marketable skills. How did we ever let these union thugs produce worst test scores that poor countries with a billion times more money spent? Is this the United States of America? These unions are UNAMERICAN. They should be outlawed. First the public sector unions, then any private sector union that influences politics.

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John Stossel documentary on entrepreneurs in America

Here’s the intro video. (H/T The Blog Prof)

And the remaining parts:

  • Part 2: The commuter vans entrepreneur debates against the head of the transport union
  • Part 3: How government regulates and sues entrepreneurs who want to start and run businesses
  • Part 4: How governments and big businesses force entrepreneurs to get licenses they don’t need
  • Part 5: How governments pass regulations to insulate lobbying businesses from competition
  • Part 6: Q&A with some of the guests
  • Part 7: Stossel’s conclusion

This documentary explains how government regulations get in the way of people who have great ideas.

The best clips were 3 and 6.

More John Stossel stuff