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Rudy Loves Kids More Than Teachers


If you listened to or watched Sunday's Republican presidential debate on Fox News, held in Orlando, Fla, you would have thought that vouchers and school choice will solve all of our education ills. How do we fix the No Child Left Behind Act? With free markets, vouchers, and school competition, according to former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

What about re-engaging teachers, many of whom have been disenfranchised as part of NCLB? Again, vouchers are the answer, according to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor. He and Thompson were the only candidates who got a chance to answer questions about education reform.

"That's going to bring back public school teachers?" replied one of the moderators, Wendell Goler of Fox News, after Giuliani told him school choice was the answer.

"I love teachers...but I really care about the kids more," Giuliani replied. You can read the full transcript here.

The former mayor told the story of a privately funded scholarship program in the mid- to late-1990s that in one year received 168,000 applicants from New York City for 2,500 slots.

"We had to tell them because they don't have enough money, they couldn't put the child in the school of their choice," he said. "We should empower parents."


Saying education is about the students and not the teachers is like saying you're more interested in helping the child, not the mother. People who say this either have a fundamental misunderstanding of education or have an agenda to further.

An agenda such as, say... school choice, which has absolutely nothing to do with quality education and everything to do with busting unions and privatizing the education industry. Just another fad who's time will come and go, hopefully sooner rather than later.

If it works for the teachers, it works for the students - and vice versa.

It is time that many teachers become a bit more honest in this discussion. Good teachers will always have good and decently paid jobs. This is true with or without vouchers. Bad teachers will be fired if we no longer have a government sponsored monopoly in education. The same is true with administrators. Good teachers will never get the respect we deserve continuing the public education system we currently have.

If public education is so good for the children then why are we afraid that everyone will leave if they have a choice (vouchers). We live in fear because deep down we know that we are not providing the best education for these children. Teachers should be supporting vouchers – not opposing them. As long as we oppose vouchers we will get the respect we deserve – none if any.

Due to the politics in public education, I can’t even post my name without fear of retribution. Our current system stinks and if you have ever worked anywhere outside of government then you know this is true. I have seen people’s contracts not renewed for making comments that do not support the union position. It is time to start doing what is right for the students and stop being so concerned about ourselves. If the students win then so will the teachers.

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