Public schools do a lousy job... and reformers who try to make improvements run up against the "BLOB." It's this Jabba-the-Hutt like thing that can barely be budged - the teachers' unions, janitors' unions, the school board bureaucrat, etc. The BLOB says: "We don't do that here. We have to requisition downtown. We got to get 4 or 5 people to sign off, the deputy director of curriculum has to say this is OK, etc."
The BLOB insists education needs more money, but as the chart shows, America has tripled spending, but math, reading and science scores haven't improved.
Michelle Rhee wanted to make changes in Washington D.C. She'll talk about her new book, Radical: Fighting to Put Students First. I don't think Rhee was radical enough.
Joe Del Grosso, the head of the Newark, New Jersey Teachers Union, hates for-profit competition, and I'm delighted that he'll come on the show to talk about it. Bob Bowdon, director of the educational documentary, "The Cartel," says Del Grosso's union uses its clout to raises prices and limits options.
The BLOB may close the American Indian charter schools in California. But the schools succeed! Their students have top test scores! Troy Flint, of the Oakland board, says the school's founder, Ben Chavis is a crook who "profited" from the school. We'll let them debate.
Some parents don't think it's worth it to fight the education BLOB. They escape it. "Unschooling" mom, Amy Milstein, and 14-year-old "unschooling" student, Jude Steffers-Wilson, talk about a program that lets students take the reins on their own education.
President Obama says the smartest way to educate our kids is to start government-funded schooling early. Steve Barnett, of the National Institute for Early Education Research, says universal pre-school would be a good thing. But Darcy Olsen, of the Goldwater Institute, says it would not.
Finally, teachers' unions say their rules are good. And if cities would let them train and evaluate teachers... they'd do a great job. They once told me, "We have the expertise, the intelligence, the experience to be able to do what works for children." So New York City gave them a shot, gave the United Federation of Teachers a charter school. What happened? The teachers union's school is one of the city's worst!
Tonight at 9pm on Fox Business.
Full Episode: The Education BLOB