"The problem with America's government school system is socialism. The solution is capitalism-the introduction of a free market." This provocative theme, stated explicitly by CBS Marketwatch columnist Brimelow, aptly sums up the premise of this lengthy opinion piece on what's wrong with American schooling and how to fix it. The real villains in the government educational scam, according to Brimelow, are the unions, with their bloated bureaucracies, political maneuvering and teacher protection rackets. Brimelow's prescriptions go further than suggesting we simply get rid of unions. His remedies run along predictable ideological lines: turn education over to market forces, hand over responsibility for teacher education to private firms instead of universities and abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Competition, in this paradigm, will solve all of education's problems. For politicians seeking ammunition in the war on public education, Brimelow shares plenty of anecdotes highlighting what he sees as the excesses of teacher unions. Unfortunately, his text suffers from selective use of research and unnecessary teacher bashing (e.g., he opens the book with a commentary on how extraordinarily fat teachers are) to make the point. He can also be hypocritical, as when he accuses union spokespeople of hyperbole when warning against vouchers, merit pay and other conservative proposals for school reform, yet engages in much of the same, detracting from what might otherwise be a welcome addition to the national conversation on education.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Brimelow's Alien Nation (1995), decrying massive immigration to the U.S., made all the multiculturalists diss him, and now he lambastes the National Education Association, the nation's biggest union and, he argues, the most self-serving in the interests of its officers and staff, who see to it they make double whatever they get for teachers. According to Brimelow, the union vacuums up money with legislated agency fees for nonmember teachers and exclusive bargaining rights in most states, and local and state affiliates turn over all surpluses to the national. He claims the union buys politicians like no other lobby and that they are almost exclusively Democrats, despite surveys suggesting a third of NEA members are Republicans. It co-opts every reform it can't crush, and Brimelow shows it maneuvering to own the voucher movement if it can't kill it. In a concluding wish list for curbing the NEA, Brimelow aims high because he feels that it, like the Soviet Union (its institutional inspiration, he thinks), may suddenly collapse. Rougher reading than Alien Nation but just as bracing. Ray Olson
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Good and thorough analysis about how we are being screwed over by the NEA, NFT, et al.Published 4 months ago by Richard B. Sorensen
Brimelow has some good points about what is wrong in modern schools but I noticed a few red flags. One of them was the promotion of certain for profit education companies in the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joe O
Brimlow is a business guy and so he must know what he's talking about. Right? Milton Friedman likes him so that's good too, right? Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!! Read morePublished on May 3, 2012 by Dr Markway
My father has been in HR for over 25 years dealing with a lot of different unions in the private-sector. Read morePublished on April 7, 2011 by Taylor Gillespie
This book is long overdue. Brimelow exposes how radical unions have wrecked our public schools. And the costs - most people assume that teachers are underpaid.....hardly. Read morePublished on July 16, 2010 by Cf Allison
His background is in financial writing so hes always no nonsense!
I recommend all his books!!!
and why are finnish children so smart ????? Read more
Peter Brimelow notes that, since the National Education Association gave up its interest in K-12 education and became a teschers' union, rather than an association of educators,... Read morePublished on August 3, 2004 by Joseph H Pierre
This is not a cheerful or optimistic book, but it is one that absolutely had to be written. I am personally familiar with Peter Brimelow although it took me awhile to getting... Read morePublished on July 17, 2004 by Bernard Chapin