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Fox News “Asks” If Best Solution For Wisconsin Protests Is To Privatize All Public Schools

Reported by Guest Blogger - February 21, 2011 -

By Brian

Saturday’s (2/19/11) Cashin’ In began with a segment in which host Cheryl Casone first announced that Wisconsin teachers unions were “trying to block cost cuts.” In fact, as Casone almost certainly knows, the protests are over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attempts to do away with collective bargaining. The unions have already agreed to his pension and health care concessions. But Casone’s next question pointed to why she may have wanted to make the situation in Wisconsin look as bad as possible. She “asked,” “Is the best fix to end this mess to privatize all public schools?” Surprise! Surprise! Most of her panelists jumped at the chance to argue for privatization. Top Dog Christian Dorsey once again did a great job of arguing against the radical right-wing agenda that is always the subtext of almost every Fox News “business” show.

Tracy Byrnes wanted to privatize all schools. "Look at the way a company is run, look at the way the public sector is run these days. That's all you need to know. Privatize these things… People will take more ownership of the decisions they make. These kids will actually learn. Oh, I'm sorry, out in a protest? Teachers calling in sick? I’m not learning anything by doing that. All for some little increase in my health care."

John Layfield agreed “completely.” He added, “No private enterprise runs like this… We have the worst union in America in this teachers union."

Dorsey correctly noted that the Wisconsin protests are not about finances. "If you look at Wisconsin before Governor Walker came into office, the state was projected to actually have a surplus. Through some actions that he's taken, some priorities that he’s had, it’s now running a deficit. He’s seeking to erase the whole notion of collective bargaining.” Dorsey called it “laughable” to talk about privatization as a solution. “If all of a sudden you think that it's better for our kids to be in a system that's governed by the rules of profit as opposed to their educational outcomes, I don't know what kind of country we're going to have... Public education is a foundation of American growth and economic opportunity."

Jonathan Hoenig said, "We can only wish! …Maybe these kids would actually learn something." He said there is nothing in our “founding documents” about “a right to education," then continued, "The bigger that government monopoly has become, the worse the schools have become.” Hoenig also asked, “Who’s causing all this destruction? It’s not the private school teachers! They’re in class!”

Byrnes said, "My kids were in Catholic schools. Catholic schools test scores are actually higher than most public schools, and those teachers make pennies from heaven… They’re not there for the tenure. They’re there because they want to be.”

Layfield now said that privatization might be going too far but he promoted school vouchers. Hoenig jumped in to say, “Which, of course, the left is very much against.”

Dorsey, at least, got the last word. "To think that public education is failing across the board is just simply not true… There are some great private schools and there are great public schools. What we need to do is to figure out how to make sure the system replicates the best that we have from both sectors. It's not one size fits all, and it's certainly not to demonize teachers."

Comment: Which is what this segment was all about. Demonize public schools and all who work in them.

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