Finding The Rotten Apples

If government-run public schools are so bad, why do we still have them? One reason is that the educrats and radical-left apologists for public schools, like Bernie Sanders, claim that we can’t trust the free-market to educate our children. Sanders, a radical socialist, would claim that private schools only care about “greedy” profits, and would cheat parents and students, take their money, make wild promises, or go out of business.

Look at the trade-school scandals a few years ago, they say. Phony trade schools cheated students and parents with bad teaching and empty promises. This is typical of the free market, they say.

No, it is not typical — rather, the opposite.

The few bad apples in any field in the free market are just that — the exceptions. The free market has a harsh taskmaster called competition. Fierce competition in an education free-market acts the same way it does for any product we buy, whether cars, food, or computers. Fierce competition forces all competitors to keep improving their product’s quality, lowering the cost, and giving better service to their customers, or risk going out of business.

To succeed, a free-market school owner must prove that his school is better than his competitors. All free-market (private) schools have to prove their excellence to skeptical parents — their customers. If a school does not live up to its claims, parents are merciless. Like switching channels on TV, parents can and do switch to a better school, for they love their children and want their money’s worth.

Yes, there are always a few rotten apples in any field, but competition forces the vast majority of apples in the barrel to be honest and healthy.

Parents are not fools or stupid. They would quickly see if Johnny reads better or worse in a private school. We don’t need public-school teachers who take four years of meaningless education courses in a so-called teacher college to figure that out. Like a rising tide, fierce competition would force all educational boats to rise. Computers get faster, cheaper, and more powerful every year. Similarly, in a free-market education system, educational quality and innovation would explode, while competition would drive down the cost of tuition.

In a fiercely-competitive education free-market, your child would quickly learn the basics in safe, competent, innovative schools, rather than wasting twelve years in violent, drug-infested, chronically-incompetent government schools.

Also, what hypocrisy for the rotten orchard of government schools to point their finger at a few bad apples in the “private” sector. For in these monopoly government schools, the situation is completely reversed. The whole system, the whole government-controlled barrel is rotten, and the education for our kids is abysmal at worst and third rate at best. In a free-market school system, the bad schools would be the exception. In a government-controlled school system — good schools are the exception.

Government (public) schools are a never-ending education disaster because they have absolutely NO accountability to parents. The schools’ teachers, principals, and administrators are civil-service government workers who are paid by their local State or city government, not directly by parents (as is the case with private-school owners). Yes, there are some good, dedicated teachers in the public schools, but the system breeds mediocrity on a massive scale, and it is the system that parents have to put up with.

Year after year, compulsory taxes prop up these schools, no matter how bad they are. Compulsory school taxes also pay teachers, principals, and administrators’ salaries, no matter how bad or mediocre these tenured government employees are. So, no matter how bad these schools are, or how miserable the education they give our kids, parents have no power to make changes in the system.

That is also because every state has compulsory attendance laws that force parents to bring their children to these government schools (if they cannot afford a private school), whether they like it or not. In effect, these schools are government-enforced education prisons, both for parents and their children.

The difference between government and free-market schools is this — when government schools are rotten, when they dumb-down our kids with nonsense education theories that fail, 50 million children can suffer for twelve years, without parents having any recourse. If and when an entrepreneur-owned free-market school is bad, only a handful of children suffer for a few months while parents shop for a better school — with parents having full recourse and freedom of choice.

Public-school apologists criticizing private-schools for not being accountable to parents is a sick joke, but a joke that is tragic for our children. To education bureaucrats who point to alleged bad apples in the “private” education sector, we can only say — “Doctor, heal thyself.”


About Joel Turtel

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