Means vs. Ends: Education Edition

Andrew Coulson has a gem of a column over at the Huffington Post defending teachers’ unions from their Democratic attackers:

[I]t is not an attack on government to observe that government is bad at running schools, anymore than it’s an attack on shovels to note that they make lousy Web browsers… Nor is it an attack on the ideals of public education to say that state monopolies are an ineffective way to pursue them. That’s a confusion of ends and means. Public education is a not a particular pile of bricks or stack of regulations, it is a set of goals: universal access, preparation for participation in public life as well as success in private life, building harmony and understanding among communities.

If the true allegiance of reformist Democrats is to those ultimate ideals, then they should have no problem acknowledging that government monopolies are ill-suited to advancing them, and that teachers-union excesses are more a symptom than a cause of our monopoly-induced woes.

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