Tag Archives: Monopoly

Will paying teachers more money improve student performance?

Public school teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia and Arizona are striking this spring, affecting hundreds of thousands of students. The teachers say that spending more money on education will help children learn more. There’s an excellent article by Joy Pullmann in The Federalist that looks at whether increasing spending raises student performance. (H/T Vanessa)

Oklahoma teachers want a $10,000 raise, and Arizona teachers want a 20% increase in base pay. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get anything near that for my annual raise.

Educational bureacracy

Will raising taxes on taxpayers in order to spend more on education improve student performance? Joy says we can look at the past in order to understand whether spending more money gets results.

She writes:

Research has also long and conclusively shown that school spending hikes usually don’t go to teachers, they go to administrators and other bloat outside classrooms. So the kids are just unions’ human shields on their way to raid the kids’ public bank accounts — again.

[…]As the Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey has shown, U.S. public K-12 spending has skyrocketed over the past 50 years with no improvement in academic outcomes. Other researchers repeatedly find increasing spending doesn’t help students. That’s because, as noted above, schools typically don’t send more money to classrooms, they use it to increase bureaucracy and nonacademic programming.

Got that? When taxpayers throw money at public schools, the teachers don’t see very much of that money. It gets put into education administrators and indoctrinators – people whose sole job is to make sure that the children accept secular left values.

Check out this graph of education spending compared to test scores:

Federal spending has increased astronomically, but test scores are flat
Federal spending has increased astronomically, but test scores are flat

Spending more doesn’t produce the results that parents are looking for, for their children. Parents want children to learn what they need to find work and become financially independent. But teachers, adminsitrators, etc. have a very different goal: making little secular leftists. And that’s what they use increased funding for that. Numbers don’t lie.

Another way that public schools waste money is by promising massive gold-plated public sector pensions to teachers – pensions that no private sector  taxpayer would ever get themselves. And they use any increase in their budgets to pay the pensions of teachers who are retired, and not helping students to learn.

Teacher pensions

I saw a really nice map of the United States over at Daily Signal, with all the outstanding pensions liabilities, and the amount ranges from about $7600 in Tennessee (the best state in the union) to tens of thousands in the big blue socialist states.

Unfunded pension liabilities for public sector workers
Unfunded pension liabilities for public sector workers

Joy explains:

States promised such outsized retirement benefits to the last generation of public-school teachers that they’re paying off this promise with current revenues. A national average of $6,800 per year per teacher pays former teachers’ pensions that state and local governments failed to save up for while those teachers were working. That’s money that could have instead boosted current teachers’ salaries. The problem is only going to get worse as more baby boomers retire and legislatures continue to hide their heads in the sand.

It’s not just that states and districts failed to save up for pensions they knew would come due, it’s that they offered literally the cushiest pensions available to teachers, notes a 2016 study: “as a group, [teachers] have by far the highest retirement costs, even compared with other public-sector employees. While the average civilian employee receives $1.78 for retirement benefits per hour of work, public school teachers receive $6.22 per hour in retirement compensation.”

Like I said, I don’t have a pension funded by taxpayers. I’m having to saving for my own retirement, as well of the retirement of these wealthy government workers. Public sector benefits are paid by taxpayers in the private (free market) sector. We are the ones wh have to make products and services that consumers are actually willing to pay for in a free market. Unlike teachers, I can’t go on strike if I feel I’m not paid enough. If I go on strike, I’ll be fired. But they go on strike, holding children hostage to get more money. With no guarantee of improved student performance.

Joy also notes that teachers are actually vastly overpaid already, based on what their marketable skills:

[…][R]esearch finds teachers are overpaid by an average of 50 percent relative to their skills and mental abilities. The overage comes almost exclusively from their fat benefit packages.

The reason they complain about pay is because the majority of their pay is going into extravagant health care, paid time off, pension, paid training, etc. benefits. When you add back all those benefits, they’re being overpaid compared to an equivalent private sector worker.

Regulations

Another factor that lowers student performance is that the fact that teachers are highly regulated. Instead of spending their time teaching students, they are forced to waste time doing other non-teaching tasks.

Joy explains:

Education regulations are almost always decided by non-teachers, and the effects are about what you would guess from that fact. Rather than benefiting students, these regulations typically require or justify ever-expanding employment for the very bureaucrat types who come up with them. I’m talking about things like teacher licensing mandates, which researchers have long found do not improve teacher quality and traffic in disproven education fads (but do provide easy-access cash cows for state departments of education and teacher colleges since teachers are required to keep buying their products to maintain certification); ever-increasing testing and data-entry mandates; centralized curriculum mandates like Common Core; centralized teacher evaluation and ratings systems; and the massive data entry required to document things like student behavior problems and special education services.

More money being wasted that doesn’t help students to learn more at all.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to allow parents to choose who provides their children with an education, instead of having the money automatically taxed and spent by a massive secular left education bureaucracy. If teachers have their money in their hands, they will spend it where they can get the best quality for the best price – just like they do in every other area of their lives. That might be scary for teachers, administrators and indoctrinators, but in a free market, the parents should not be obligated to pay for something they don’t want. We should be concerned about the children first and foremost.

Republicans introduce new federal legislation to expand school choice

If I were giving advice to the Republican party about how to win in 2020, I would advise them to focus on three priorities. Lowering unemployment, reforming the criminal justice system, and expanding school choice. They should also paint the Democrats as the party of infanticide, Green New Deal and elimination of private health insurance.

So far, Trump has done an excellent job of encouraging private sector job creators to create millions of new jobs. Unemployment is at a record low, and that’s important for persuading Black and Hispanic voters to vote for smart policies instead of tribal identity and envy. I don’t agree with with reforming criminal justice to favor criminals, but that will help with minority voters as well. But what we really need to do is provide Black and Hispanic voters with a way to get their children out of failing public schools. Public schools are filled with lazy, unionized Democrat teachers and administrators who care more about indoctrinating kids with Democrat propaganda than teaching them job skills that will make them independent, self-sufficient adults.

The Republican party knows that school choice is a win for them, and they are doing something about it.

Here’s the latest from the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank that promotes fiscally conservative policies:

Today, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), to announce new federal legislation that would establish a federal tax-credit expanding school choice. The proposal would give dollar-for-dollar tax credits to individuals and corporations who donate to state designated scholarship granting organizations (SGOs). While its particulars bear scrutiny, the “Education Freedom Scholarship” (EFS) proposal’s overall design is a solid attempt to walk a tightrope of backing state efforts at school choice while protecting against federal meddling now and in the future. Unfortunately, a number of critics on the right are too quick to react on their fears, and too slow in remembering what is holding back school choice.

Some conservatives and libertarians worry that solving the problem of underforming schools from the top down is a political overreach, but the AEI policy analyst writing the article says that the Republican bill doesn’t have that problem:

As I wrote back in 2017, backing state developed tax-credit scholarships is the best, and probably only, way the federal government could support state efforts without overreaching.  It would not be a federal program, but a tax credit that supports programs where states are explicitly responsible for policy particulars.

[…]No doubt, the bill would need to be explicitly structured to ensure the states’ primary role, and durably prevent federal overreach; fortunately defending states’ role is a paramount feature of the bill’s design.

School choice is a nice issue for Republicans, because it allows them to point out the hypocritical nature of Democrat politicians. Democrat politicians are essentially hypocritical. They want to ban guns for you, but they have armed security to protect themselves. It’s the same thing for education. They want to ban private schools for your children, but their own children all attend private schools.

Top Political Contributors in 2016 election cycle
The top Political Contributors in 2016 election cycle includes two teacher unions

Democrats are obligated by teacher unions, (e.g. – the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers), to vote against parents who want their children to get a better education. That’s because teacher unions are some of the biggest Democrat donors. Teacher unions just want more salary and bigger benefits, despite the evidence that clearly shows that more education spending doesn’t produce better student achievement.

Education spending has tripled since 1970
Education spending has tripled since 1970

Here’s a study from 2012 published in the journal “Education and Urban Society“. It says:

The possibility is examined that school choice programs could be a means to reducing the achievement gap. Data based on meta-analytic research and the examination of nationwide data sets suggest that school choice programs that include private schools could reduce the achievement gap by 25%. The propounding of this possibility is based on research indicating that the achievement gap in faith-based schools is generally 25% narrower than one finds in public schools. Results of these studies suggest that both the racial achievement gap and the socioeconomic achievement gap are reduced by the same degree (25%). The significance of these results is discussed, especially as it pertains to the attitudes that people frequently have toward school choice.

Not only do children do better in non-public schools, but the competition forces public schools to focus less on leftist indoctrination, and more on reading, writing and math.

This study from the on-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) explains why.

It says:

A school that is more productive is one that produces higher achievement in its pupils for each dollar it spends. In this paper, I comprehensively review how school choice might affect productivity. I begin by describing the importance of school productivity, then explain the economic logic that suggests that choice will affect productivity, and finish by presenting much of the available evidence on school choice and school productivity. The most intriguing evidence comes from three important, recent choice reforms: vouchers in Milwaukee, charter schools in Michigan, and charter schools in Arizona. I show that public school students’ achievement rose significantly and rapidly in response to competition, under each of the three reforms. Public school spending was unaffected, so the productivity of public schools rose, dramatically in the case in Milwaukee.

School choice makes public schools perform better because competition between providers always lowers the cost and increases the quality of services and products being provided to the consumers. Consumers always suffer when there is a monopoly. This is why people are more satisfied purchasing goods from Amazon and Netflix than they are lining up at the post office or the department of motor vehicles. The free market serves the consumer.

I was raised in a poor background, and I am a visible minority. If Republicans want to get the votes of people in my community, it makes sense to put in place policies that allow people like me to get a good education so we can get good jobs and do better than our parents did. Republicans should be all about equipping people to be independent and self-sufficient. These are conservative goals.

Fascist Twitter permanently bans conservative, no warnings, no explanations, no appeals

Twitter bans another conservative with no previous violations
Far-left fascist monopoly Twitter bans a conservative with no warnings, no previous violations, and no indication of which tweet violated their rules

Although Twitter allows tweets from radical leftist anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan, they permanently ban moderate conservatives with no explanation of which specific rules those conservatives violated. There are no warnings. There is no appeal. It’s time for the government to step in and break up the big social media monopolies.

Here’s the story from The Federalist:

Federalist Contributor Jesse Kelly was permanently suspended from Twitter on Sunday for “repeat violations of the Twitter rules,” according to a message from Twitter Support. Kelly is a combat Veteran Marine, conservative radio host, and former Republican candidate for U.S. Congress.

Twitter did not explain what rules Kelly violated, or if there was a specific tweet in question.

[…]Kelly is a frequent guest on Fox News, and ironically, his last appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show was to discuss online censorship.

All we have is a copy of Twitter’s message (screenshot above), about the permanent ban. No other reasons were given.

Requests for more information from conservative journalists were ignored, and no specific reasons for the permanent ban were given.

Note that a permanent Twitter ban isn’t a ban where they just ask you to delete specific Tweets that violate their rules. In the past, Twitter asked a Canadian feminist to delete a tweet where she said that a transgender woman was a biological man. You can’t say that a woman has to have a vagina on Twitter – that’s hate speech, and you’ll be banned if you say that.  She was allowed to delete the offending tweets to get her account back. Kelly was not told which of his tweets was offensive, he was just permanently banned.

But do you know what isn’t banned on Twitter? Saying that all Jews are termites. That tweet is fine with them, because it comes from a leftist. The account that tweeted that is still active.

The Times of Israel reports:

The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday called on Twitter to remove tweets by Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader, from the social network after he posted a video in which he appeared to compare Jews to termites.

But when the Buzzfeed news site asked Twitter whether Farrakhan’s latest post violated its newly announced  policy against “dehumanizing language,” it was told the religious leader was not in violation of any rules.

It’s time for the government to step in and break up this corporate monopoly. And maybe we need to have some civil suits with some billion dollar decisions against these left-wing fascists, for violating first amendment rights of conservatives.

Teacher union president explains how he covers up for abusive teachers

Education spending has tripled since 1970
Education spending has tripled since 1970

In a previous post, I explained four reasons why education is so expensive, despite the fact that teachers produce underperforming students. But one factor was not mentioned, namely that it is nearly impossible to fire underperforming teachers. The teacher unions prevents teachers from being fired, even for criminal behavior.

The Daily Wire reports on a new Project Veritas video.

Here’s the video:

And the article says:

A new video from Project Veritas shows a New Jersey teachers union president explaining the methods he would use to cover for a teacher if the teacher physically or verbally abused their student.

Undercover employees for Project Veritas taped Hamilton Township Education Association President David Perry asserting he would misrepresent the events of altercations between teachers and students by back-dating reports as well as urging the teacher to remain silent about what happened.

Perry also stated that if a teacher abused their student, they should go to the union where a report could be created protecting them from students asserting that they had been abused.

Some sample quotes from Perry:

I got people who are on drugs. And she, five times she was fired, and I got her job back five times.

If nobody brings it up from school, I don’t say boo.

Interviewer: So, after a certain point, the cameras are erased. Perry: Exactly. That’s why I would never want to bring it up. The longer we wait, the longer there’s no cameras.

Now, if you go to the house of the board of education and report this, they’re going to call the police, call parents and all that s***. We don’t do that. We don’t do that here. I’m here to defend even the worst people.

But I don’t want him coming in here with a bunch of lies. We need to know the truth so we can bend the truth.

When I see teachers holding signs, demanding more salary and benefits, the first thing I think of is how they want all of these things regardless of performance. Because no matter how poorly they perform, it’s almost impossible to fire them. The union protects them. They’re not asking for more money because they’ve done a good job. They don’t have to do a good job in order to continue to be employed.

Here’s an example of how unions protect poorly-performing teachers from parents (their customers!), reported by the radically leftist CNN:

Former teacher Charlene Schmitz is behind bars in a federal detention center in Tallahassee, Florida, serving 10 years for using texts and instant messages to seduce a 14-year-old student.

She has been fired from her job as a reading teacher at the high school in Leroy, Alabama.

But she is still collecting a paycheck.

Schmitz is appealing her federal conviction — and her firing. State charges filed in connection with the case are pending. Under the law in Alabama, she is still entitled to her $51,000-a-year salary while she appeals her firing.

She’s a “reading teacher”. Sigh.

If you think that’s the exception, you should know that many, many teachers are kept in “rubber rooms”, where they are paid their full teacher salary long after they have been banned from teaching for various crimes and abuses.

NBC News reports:

Hundreds of New York City public school teachers accused of offenses ranging from insubordination to sexual misconduct are being paid their full salaries to sit around all day playing Scrabble, surfing the Internet or just staring at the wall, if that’s what they want to do.

Because their union contract makes it extremely difficult to fire them, the teachers have been banished by the school system to its “rubber rooms” — off-campus office space where they wait months, even years, for their disciplinary hearings.

The 700 or so teachers can practice yoga, work on their novels, paint portraits of their colleagues — pretty much anything but school work. They have summer vacation just like their classroom colleagues and enjoy weekends and holidays through the school year.

“You just basically sit there for eight hours,” said Orlando Ramos, who spent seven months in a rubber room, officially known as a temporary reassignment center, in 2004-05. “I saw several near-fights. `This is my seat.’ `I’ve been sitting here for six months.’ That sort of thing.”

[…]Because the teachers collect their full salaries of $70,000 or more, the city Department of Education estimates the practice costs the taxpayers $65 million a year. The department blames union rules.

“It is extremely difficult to fire a tenured teacher because of the protections afforded to them in their contract,” spokeswoman Ann Forte said.

This is why we need to break up the government monopoly on education, abolish the federal Department of Education, break up the teacher unions, and put vouchers for education in the hands of parents. The only way this corrupt system is going to be fixed is to hand parents the money to choose their schools, and have schools and teachers have public reviews – like what you see on Amazon or Google reviews or Yelp. Teachers should all have to complete two years of full-time work in the private sector for whatever it is that they want to teach – to prove that they are at least capable of keeping a job where they can actually be fired for underperforming. Once parents are empowered to move their children around to get the best education (and to pay more to the best teachers and schools), then good teachers will be paid what they are worth, and bad teachers will be fired, and bad schools will close. This will raise the quality of education for EVERY student.

UK police threatens those who disagree with NHS starvation of sick child #AlfieEvans

UK Police enforces the decrees of the government-run NHS
UK Police threatens anyone who dares express disagreement with the NHS

By now, everyone has heard about how an NHS hospital has essentially kidnapped a sick child from his parents, and they are trying to kill the (born) child through asphyxiation, starvation and dehydration. And it’s being performed by the government against the will of the child’s parents.

The parents want the child back so that they can take the child to a country that has modern healthcare facilities and skilled, moral medical personnel. Italy has volunteered to provide these things, and has even sent an air ambulance to transport the child. But the NHS instead wants to kill the child, because they have decreed that the child is unfit to live, i.e. – “life unworthy of life“.

The judge who initially ruled against the parents of little Alfie previously ruled that a patient in a minimally conscious state be starved to death, according to Life Site News. The appeals court judge also ruled against the child because the parents were hostile to the NHS. So, the NHS can’t release the child because his parents are “hostile to the NHS” after the NHS kidnapped and starved their child. This is the kind of legal reasoning that you can expect from the judges in the UK.

Government-run healthcare in practice

In the UK, the government runs a massive health care delivery system called the NHS. The NHS takes your money through taxes and then decide how to spend it according to their own priorities. The less they spend on healthcare, the more they can pay themselves in salary, benefits and pensions. Naturally, it’s very tempting for the NHS to kill their patients in order to cut costs and reduce their workload.

The NHS administration actually pays NHS hospitals “bounties” if the hospitals kill more patients by withdrawing treatment.

The UK Telegraph explains:

Hospitals are being paid millions of pounds to reach targets for the number of patients put on a controversial pathway for the withdrawal of life-saving treatment, according to data based on Freedom of Information requests.

The NHS regularly starves patients to death. Health care is a lot of work, and this is government. Would you go to the Post Office for health care? That’s what people are doing when they go to the NHS.

The priorities of the UK police

The UK police tweeted that they are busy monitoring Twitter for speech critical of the NHS. You might think that they have better things to do, like cracking down on sex-trafficking of underage British girls which happens in many, many UK cities. But it’s not politically correct to enforce laws against underage sex-trafficking, because it makes the UK’s far-left immigration policies look bad.

The UK Telegraph explains what happened in the most recent underage sex-trafficking case:

The newspaper’s probe alleges that social workers were aware of the abuse in the 1990s, but that it took police a decade to  launch Operation Chalice, an inquiry into child prostitution in the Telford area in which seven men were jailed.

It is also claimed that abused and trafficked children were considered “prostitutes” by council staff, that authorities did not keep details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of being accused of “racism” and that police failed to investigate one recent case five times until an MP intervened.

In several other underage sex-trafficking cases, the police also failed to act because it was not politically correct.

The UK police also thought that it was a good idea to arrest a 78-year-old pensioner for defending himself against a burglar who invaded his own home. That’s law enforcement, UK-style.

What does the NHS do instead of healthcare?

Here is an example of what the UK spends health care money on instead of spending it on sick children:

Josie Cunningham checked into a clinic last week to get rid of her unborn child, enabling her to create the face she believes she needs to be a porn and glamour model.

A series of doctors had told her the cosmetic surgery was too risky.

Josie, who terminated the unplanned pregnancy at 12 weeks, told the Sunday People: “I’m having this nose job no matter what gets in my way.

“Pregnancy was a major obstacle and an abortion was the answer to it – so that’s what I did.

[…]She had a £4,800 boob job and botox on the NHS, smoked and boozed while pregnant and ­admitted she had planned to abort her youngest child ­because she had a chance of going on Big Brother.

When government takes over control of healthcare, their ambition is simple. How can we use the money we are collecting for health care to buy votes from the voters so that we can get elected? A sick little child is useless to them, but an escort who wants to be a porn star has great value. She can vote for higher taxes, more government and better salary, benefits and pensions for the NHS employees. So, what she needs is therefore called “health care”. But what the parents of a sick child wants is not health care.

That’s what it means to go to a single payer system. You pay all your money to the government in taxes, and then they decide how to spend it to achieve their goals of buying votes and winning re-election. If you need an abortion, a sex change, breast enlargements, botox, or IVF for single women who can’t be bothered to marry, then the NHS has “health care” to trade for your vote. But if you have a sick child, then you are out of luck.

Fortunately for the NHS, their screw-ups can apparently be covered up by the judges and by the police. No American could accept such restrictions on liberty, security and prosperity. We are not slaves.

The Alfie Evans story might make you recall last year, when the NHS killed a sick child named Charlie Gard. This is not a rare occurence. I have covered literally dozens of NHS horror stories over the past 9 years. You can take a look at some of them here. The conditions in NHS hospitals are absolutely appalling, and the people who work there are lazy and incompetent. The politicians, administrators, judges and police all work together to cover up the failures, so that they can keep giving themselves exorbitant salaries, benefits and pensions at taxpayer expense.