Ironically, before I did "Stupid in America," the New York teachers union wanted to give me an award. The United Federation of Teachers' Social Studies Conference wrote: "Our organization, ATSS/UFT, would be proud to present you with the Hubert H. Humphrey Humanitarian Award for the outstanding work which you have done for social causes. ... Your development and generous sponsorship of In the Classroom Media provide students with the opportunity to enhance their civics education. This is the highest award that we can give to an individual. Past honorees have included Mario Cuomo, Shirley Chisholm, Charles Schumer, Dolores Huerta, Major Owens, Charles Rangel ... "
Wow! Chuck Schumer, Charlie Rangel and me! Alas, after my education special aired, they decided not to give me the award. Apparently my work with In the Classroom Media -- which provides teachers with videos about the free market -- only helps kids as long as I stay away from the "social cause" most relevant to them: their education.
Instead, teachers' unions announced that Wednesday (3/8), they will hold demonstrations against me and ABC in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and elsewhere. One police permit suggests the crowd outside my office will number 750-1,000 people. It should be interesting.
"We want to make sure that ABC hears the voices of incredibly hard-working teachers," says the union website, quoting New York City's UFT President Randi Weingarten. "The network needs to hear how unfair and biased those of you in the trenches believe their broadcast to have been."
I'm sorry that union teachers are mad at me. But when it comes to the union-dominated monopoly, the facts are inescapable. Many kids are miserable in bad schools. If they are not rich enough to move, or to pay for private school, they are trapped.
It doesn't have to be that way. We know what works: choice. That's what's brought Americans better computers, phones, movies, music, supermarkets -- most everything we have. Schoolchildren deserve the joyous benefits of market competition too.
Unions say, "education of the children is too important to be left to the vagaries of the market." The opposite is true. Education is too important to be left to the calcified union/government monopoly.