The Virginia Governor’s Race Was an Advertisement for School Choice

Virginia’s gubernatorial race came to a close on last week. Democrat Terry McAuliffe invited Randi Weingarten, the president of teachers union.

That would be a great idea.

He, as many progressives, thinks everyone thinks like he does.

“I’m not going to let parents come into schools and…make their own decisions,” he’d said. “I do not believe parents should tell schools what to teach.”

This is the attitude of government: It runs everything. Experts know the best. Are parents “customers”, who have to make decisions? It’s absurd.

I pray that his defeat will mean Americans realize such politicians are not good for progress.

In NYC, failing schools cost $20,000 each student in years past. Teachers held protests and shouted “Fund school!” “We don’t have enough cash!”

However, they paid $20,000 per student (now almost $30,000). This is $500,000 per class for 25 students! You can think of what you could do to that amount: Hire five excellent teachers.

The money went where? Nobody in the bureaucracy could give a satisfactory answer. Governments make money…disappear.

After researching different educational systems, I created an ABC TV Special called “Stupid in America” that featured my findings. The special showed that American students are worse off than other nations’ children.

It was suggested by me that parental choice could be helpful. We all know that competition has made it possible to have better phones, cars and supermarkets as well as lower prices. Providers are forced to continually innovate to satisfy their customers by competition. However, this is not the case in government schools.

Many private Catholic and Catholic schools have opened this year. However “public”, government-run schools are often closed.

Monopolies kill innovation. The majority of Americans had worked on farms before public schools existed. To allow kids to help at the farm, schools had to take a break during summer. While less than 2% of people work on farms these days, nearly all public schools take the summer off.

“Unionized Monopolies like yours fail,” Weingarten told me (when she would still speak with me). It is not you who are failing, it’s the children.

“We’re not a unionized monolith!” She snapped. “Folks who want to say this…don’t really care about kids.”

But, I love my kids.

But, the government-run schools have no monopoly. Don’t like your school? It’s hard. Tough. The hardest. No matter how good or poor the school is, your taxes will help pay for it.

Let’s say we buy groceries in this manner: there aren’t any more options. It is up to us to decide whether fish or meat we prefer. Whichever wins—that’s what everyone eats.

Weingarten was interviewed by me. I mentioned that it took 10 years for a teacher to be fired due to union and civil service rules.

She said, “We will police our profession.”

“I would like to also police my job,” I said. But that’s just not the way it works in real life!

I was clearly wrong. Public education is still the way things are.

Weingarten protested outside of my office after the broadcast of “Stupid in America”, which was viewed by millions. Hunderts of teachers held signs that read, “We are here for an apology!” 20/20 John Stossel

They were shocked when I came out of the ABC building and let them shout at me. They said that I insulted them. Some teachers said, probably correctly, that they didn’t know how difficult their jobs were.

Weingarten had a great plan for me to learn. Teach for one week!” She shouted at my through the loudspeaker. She shouted at me through the loudspeaker, “We have high schools and elementary schools!”

That idea was liked by the teachers. The teachers began chanting “Teach John, Teach!”

They were surprised when I said, “OK!”

They could have chosen any class I taught. I was interested in videotaping it.

Then they revealed their bureaucratic nature. They decided not to allow me to teach after repeatedly scheduling meetings.

Unions and government monopolies are not the best options for children. Innovation will come to schools through competition, parental choice and innovation.

Glenn Youngkin, the winner of the governor race, said that he would introduce choice in our public schools system.

He will do it if it is possible.