I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bob Braun Gets It

I bust on the Star-Ledger a fair bit, but they do also produce dead-on pieces like this:
NEWARK — It’s a newly popular idea: New Jersey’s public schools fail. An idea promoted by politicians on the national prowl, privatizers who’ll sell anything for a profit, and clueless celebrities who live thousands of miles away and believe Tony Soprano really lives here.
And it’s preposterous.... 
The best analysis of education now isn’t strictly about schools, it’s evidence compiled by Princeton’s Larry Bartels about the dangerously widening income gap between rich and poor, the worst since the Depression. It distorts our institutions — and our attitudes. But that — to steal a phrase — is an inconvenient truth. Something many, especially in the midst of a grinding, relentless recession, don’t want to hear. Something tax-cutting politicians don’t want to face. 
Like fighting a war, battling failure in the schools is costly — but we don’t mind going after the Taliban, no matter the cost. 
So, because we don’t like spending money on schools, we’ll change the subject. Bash teachers, envy their secure jobs and pensions because, in the nonunion private sector, secure jobs with good pensions disappeared without a fight. Teachers went to jail to win those rights.
Read the whole thing - it's worth it.

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