Tag: John Stossel

Do You Still Think DC Spends Only $15,000/Pupil?

The District of Columbia spent over $28,000 per pupil in the 2008-09 school year. This year is probably similar. So why does (almost) everyone still claim the figure is around half that much? John Stossel has a good summary here.

If you’d like all the gory details, drawn from the official DC budget documents and the District’s own audited enrollment figures, then have a look at this Excel spreadsheet file.

I’m happy to go over the calculation with any DC or DCPS official – or journalist – who would care to dispute it. (It’s only been challenged once before, and the official in question fell silent after seeing the spreadsheet.)

Isn’t it about time that the local media start telling it like it is, and acknowledge that the District of Columbia spends four times as much per pupil as local voucher-receiving private schools charge in tuition ($6,620), while still getting worse academic results?

A Severe Irony Deficiency

Tomorrow night at 8:00pm, Fox Business News will air a John Stossel special on the failures of state-run schooling and the merits of parental choice and competition in education. I make an appearance, as do Jeanne Allen and James Tooley.

News of the show is already making the rounds, and over at DemocraticUnderground.com, one poster is very upset about it, writing:

When will these TRAITORS stop trying to ruin this country?

HOW can AMERICANS be AGAINST public education?

Stossel is throwing out every right-wing argument possible in his namby pamby singsong way while he “interviews” a “panel” of people (who I suspect are plants) saying things like preschool is a waste of money and why invest in an already-failing system….

I hate Stossel and I hate all of those who think the way he does.

This poster goes by the screen name “Live Love Laugh.” I guess there wasn’t enough space to tack “Hate” onto the end.

What this poster–and many good people on the American left–have yet to grasp is that critics of state monopoly schooling are NOT against public education. On the contrary, it is our commitment to the ideals of public education that compels us to pursue them by the most effective means possible, and to abandon the system that has proven itself, over many many generations, incapable of fulfilling them. I wrote about this crucial point more than a decade ago in Education Week, in a piece titled: “Are Public Schools Hazardous to Public Education.”

Fortunately, a small but steadily growing number of American liberals have already grasped this pivotal difference between means and ends, as the growing Democratic support for Florida’s school choice tax credit program evinces. Giving all families, particularly low income families, an easier choice between state-run and independent schools is the best way to advance the ideals of public education.

Stossel on Demand

As I hope you know by now, John Stossel is on the Fox Business Network every Thursday night at 8 p.m. Don’t miss it. But if you do, there are rebroadcasts at 10 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 11 p.m. Sunday.

But some people complain that their local cable station doesn’t carry the Fox Business Network. Well, contact them and tell them you want Stossel! (I’ll wait while you do that.) And now, since the cable company won’t add the network instantly, you should also know that clips and full shows are also available at Hulu.com. Just go to http://www.hulu.com/stossel for lots of recent shows – on health care, global warming, Ayn Rand, Whole Foods, and more.

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It’s Stossel Thursday

Yes, folks, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: John Stossel launches his new weekly show on the Fox Business Network Thursday evening at 8 p.m. (Even though the vaunted Fox News machine can’t seem to put a notice about it on their website, I have it on good authority that the show will go on!) Rumor is he’ll be talking about Ayn Rand on the first show. It’s a good time for a show about freedom and limited government – as the Baltimore Sun says, “Stossel’s new show should have no trouble finding an audience of viewers eager for a discussion about the pedal-to-the-metal pace of expansion [of government] since Barack Obama took office.”

Some people ask, Why give up ABC for the smaller Fox networks? (Presumably, these are not the same people who asked Stossel for years, “Why don’t you go to Fox?  They’d love you there.”) The good news is that now Stossel has an hour a week to talk about freedom – as well as appearances on other Fox shows such as Beck and O’Reilly. His hour-long specials at ABC were excellent, and drew solid ratings, but ABC hasn’t put one on in more than a year. And even his “Give Me a Break” segments on 20/20 had become rare. So what’s the point in being part of a big but declining network that isn’t actually interested in serious political commentary? Now he’s on a smaller but growing network that wants him to do 44 hours of pointed commentary and analysis, plus contribute to other shows.

If you haven’t seen Stossel’s ABC specials, you need to. I can never decide which one I think is best. Of course, I’m partial to “John Stossel’s Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics,” in which I get a bit of screen time. But “Greed,” with Walter Williams, David Kelley, and Ted Turner, is great, too. And so is “Is America #1?,” featuring Tom Palmer. But there were plenty of others – “Stupid in America,” “Are We Scaring Ourselves to Death?,” “John Stossel Goes to Washington,” “Sex, Lies, and Consenting Adults.”

You can view some of them, including “Is America #1?,” at a website called Freedom Channel. And for the time being, at least, you can still watch lots of shorter Stossel videos at ABC News.

But meanwhile – tell your mama, tell your pa, to watch “Stossel” this Thursday at 8 p.m. on Fox Business Channel. And note: it will repeat at 10 p.m. Friday, giving you a chance to show ABC what they lost by watching “Stossel” instead of “20/20.”

Thursday Links

Bailouts, Big Spending and Bull

John Stossel joined economists from around the country Thursday at the Cato Institute for a taping of a 20/20 special that will air Friday March 13 called “Bailouts, Big Spending and Bull.”

The segment is based on Reason TV’s Drew Carey Project, and examines  “bailouts, medical marijuana, universal preschool, private highways, border walls, and the myth of the struggling middle class.”

Check your local listings for exact air time.

stossel20-20_030409_5320stossel20-20_030409_52871Photos by Kelly Anne Creazzo