Barack Obama, Illinois Democrats, and the public school establishment are not going to fix Illinois’ public schools

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Carrie Lukas of the non-partisan Independent Women’s Forum wrote this late last year:

“Despite our massive spending on elementary and secondary education, too many of America’s children receive a mediocre education that simply does not prepare them to compete with their peers internationally.

Scores released just this week on the International Student Assessment show that U.S. 15 year olds ranked 17th out of the 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in science and 24th in math. The United States is clearly failing to prepare much of the next generation to participate and contribute to our increasingly knowledge-based economy.”

When president-elect Barack Obama was an Illinois state senator for eight years he did nothing to help improve the public schools in the city of Chicago. When he was a U.S. Senator (in fact he just resigned his seat two days ago), he continued his record of no accomplishments on behalf of the kids trapped in public schools.

We already know what he plans to do as president because he told us. Thomas Sowell, who is a scholar of African American decent, quoted Obama last month in a column:

“I owe those unions,” he has said frankly. “When their leaders call, I do my best to call them back right away. I don’t consider this corrupting in any way.”

Oh, and by the way, Mr. and Mrs. Obama will again exercise their privileged power of school choice as they move to Washington, D.C. That same power is the one they deny to parents of limited financial means.

If you think the teacher unions have any desire to improve the schools, please wake up from your coma. If you are confused as to why this is the case, click here LINK for a little recommended reading.

Likewise, if you think Illinois Democrats have any desire to improve the public schools it’s time for you to face reality. Illinois Democrats have had all the power they needed to do just that for six years.

What the politicians and the school system wants – and what they continue to get – is higher funding. And from the opening quote above as well as decades of definitive proof, we know higher funding and better schools don’t equate.

So, what is the solution? We’re back to the same place we always wind up when it comes to matters of domestic American policy: personal responsibility. Parents must engage the political process and throw off tyranny. As in the founding era, if they wish to be free of the public school system, they must fight.

Included in the “American Dream” is the notion that every parent wants their child to enjoy a standard of living better than their own. Because of the continued failure of public schools, the fulfillment of that wish is much in doubt.

We already know that the public school establishment cares only about its own funding levels, and the political class is in hoc to the education special interests that write PAC checks to their campaign funds.

So it’s going to be up to the parents – who constitute potentially the strongest force in the struggle to improve American public schools – to stand up and do their part.

Up next: How “education experts” keep out reform minded parents.

©2008 John F. Biver

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