There is an old proverb that states “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” And although Hell may be too strong a word, the unfortunate students stuck in a poor public school may feel the same effects, while the members of the National Education Association cool their heels far, far away. But how did we get hear? In a word – avarice.
When the government started the public school system, the intention, which was good, was to provide every child in this country a publicly-funded education. This would create a never-ending supply of technology, innovation, creativity, and all the other elements of a powerful and enlightened society. The only other option for educating a child was through private schooling. A binary choice – pretty straightforward. Or so we thought.
Another idea sprung from the well of good intentions was the employee union. It was originally created to help protect employees against unscrupulous employers who would take short cuts when it came to worker’s safety, health, etc. And although all of these issues have since been addressed through legislation, many industries still have large unions. One such union is the National Education Association, with over 3 million members, filling up their coffers with annual dues.
Enter avarice, one of the seven deadly sins. If you follow a simple logic path, it’s very easy to understand why the NEA seems to spend more time on politics than educating our children. One of the links on the NEA home page is “Politics & Campaigns”, which actually contains an article on pushing for accountability for GOP members of Congress who questioned the 2020 election.
The logic path is as follows: a) there are only 2 options for educating children – public and private, b) the government controls the budget for the public school system, c) the NEA wishes to expand the public school system, thereby expanding its membership and annual dues, and d) politicians cannot win elections without money. In the zero sum game of education, every child attending a privately-funded school is one less child attending a publicly-funded school. Simple choice – put the enormous financial clout of the NEA behind those politicians who will eliminate the competition. The NEA wins, and our children lose.
History has proven that avarice is very strong, and as such, we must find other ways of accomplishing the goal of providing every child in this country with a top-notch educations. I am most certainly open to ideas.