March 9, 2011 12:06PM

Unions and Kids

Over at Think Progress, a bevy of commenters dispute an anecdote shared in my book Market Education. Here’s what I wrote, in the teaser to chapter 8:

In late October of 1995, officials of the Pepsi company announced at Jersey City Hall that their corporation would donate thousands of dollars in scholarships to help low‐​income children attend the private school of their choice. The immediate response of the local public school teachers’ union was to threaten that a statewide boycott of all Pepsi products could not be ruled out. Pepsi vending machines around the city were vandalized and jammed. Three weeks later, company officials regretfully withdrew their offer.

What are government school teachers’ unions so afraid of?

The source article for this episode is of course cited in the book, but here is the link to that article on the Education Week newspaper’s website.

Some of the commenters made the point that policy should not be driven by anecdotes. I agree, which is why I already blogged the evidence that only private sector competition can control skyrocketing public school spending.