(Page 2 of 2)
Also aiding their efforts: The general skepticism of rank-and-file teachers, and more importantly, suburban parents, who don’t want themselves or their children to bear the costs of higher standards through flunked tests and more homework. All of this makes teachers unions effective at fighting back efforts by reformers to shake up the status quo.
THE WOULD-BE REFORMERS themselves, even those who should know better such as former California assembly speaker-turned-Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, fail to consider any of this.
Villaraigosa’s 2006 proposal to take over Los Angeles Unified may have won over parents and activists long-frustrated with its academic and fiscal failure. But his plan ran headlong into the opposition of the UTLA, which used its clout at the legislature, rallied mayors in other cities in which LA Unified operates, and used the courts to weaken and, finally, defeat, his effort.
School reform advocates, especially those advocating exclusively at the national level, may want to devote more time to lobbying state policymakers if they want lasting success. This would likely mean teaming up with chambers of commerce, who have been able to rally their business memberships to get some school reform measures passed. Such ties would offer school reformers the muscle they need and offer business groups the intellectual caliber most often lack.
Advocates should also think about how to do a better job of selling their prescriptions to suburban parents, whose cozy relationships with teachers often makes them willing supporters of union goals. Hoping in federal intervention alone will only allow the unions to win the most important fights.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?