Unite the USA

June 2011

Left to Right: Stacie Ruth & Carrie Beth

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Star Parker

About Star Parker 

 

Star Parker is the founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal   Education, a 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank which promotes market based public policy to fight poverty.

Before involvement in social activism, Star Parker had seven years of first-hand experience in the grip of welfare dependency. Now, as a social policy consultant, Star is bringing new energy to policy discussions on how to transition America's poor from government dependency.

She is a sought after expert on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and for national radio, television, and print interviews, nationwide. 
 

Action Center

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your childrens' education:

1.     Spend time with your kids. Personal attention and interest in your children's education is essential. Studies show that kids learn better with extra help from their parents. Whether your children go to public, private, or home school, they need your help, time, and interest in their education. It does make a big difference.

2.     Take your kids to historical and scientific sites and learn together! Our parents often took us to museums, science centers, and historical sites to help supplement our education. Plus, it was great to spend time together and have fun in the process.

3.     Supplement your kids' schooling with extracurricular resources. There are many great educational books and DVDs available for all ages. Visit the library or look at ChristianBook.com, Amazon.com, Answers in Genesis, or Wallbuilders.com for a lot of great resources.

4.     Vote for candidates who support options like homeschooling, school vouchers, etc. In America, parents should have the right to choose where their children attend school.

 

Unite the USA.org

...Uniting and Activating the Post-9/11 Generation to be Freedom Fighters!

 

School's out! It's summer and kids dive into the pool and doing anything but school. But children are leaders of the future. One great way to make a difference in your home and in our country is by making summer fun and educational.

Our parents transformed trips into educational adventures. Visit historical sites and talk about them together. It stimulates communication, intellectual growth, and well-rounded views.

During this summer break, we hope that you will take some time to help make the most of your summer vacation for your kids. In this edition of Unite the USA, you will discover tips to enhance your children's education. Plus, you will an article by Star Parker that exposes the union influences in modern schools.

Thank you for your hard work, perseverance, and patriotism. Together, we can make a positive difference in America!

God bless,
Carrie and Stacie Stoelting
Founders of Unite the USA

Unions, public schools, and minority children
 
By Star Parker

Speaking a couple years ago about technology and education, Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs said that technology wouldn't matter as long as you can't fire teachers.

"I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way," he said.

Jobs likened schools to running a small business, which he said could never succeed if you can't hire and fire.

Reasonable? I think so. Would anyone question that there is no single thing more critical to a nation's future than educating its children?

Yet, consider that 88 percent of our children get K-12 education in public schools and that 70 percent of the teachers in these schools have union-protected jobs.

Gallup has been polling public opinion about unions since the 1930s.

Last year, for the first time, less than half (48 percent) of those surveyed approved of unions. Fifty one percent said unions "mostly hurt" the U.S. economy, and 39 percent said they "mostly help."

The percentage of the nation's private sector work force that belongs to a union has dropped precipitously. In the 1950s, more than 30 percent belonged to unions. Today it's a little over 7 percent.

But in our public schools, the direction is completely opposite. In 1960, about 35 percent of public school teachers belonged to unions, and today it's twice that at 70 percent.

Is it not counterintuitive that most Americans feel unions hurt us, that we allow increasingly fewer goods and services produced in our private sector to be controlled by unions, but we turn increasingly more of our most precious commodity -- our children and their education -- over to a union-controlled work force?

In an article in the latest edition of the Cato Journal, Andrew Coulson notes that, on average, compensation of public school teachers is about 42 percent higher than that of their counterparts teaching in nonunionized private schools. Yet, according to Coulson, research shows that private schools consistently outperform public schools.

He attributes the higher average wages of public school teachers less to union collective bargaining and more to the political clout of unions to maintain the public school monopoly over K-12 education.

Over 95 percent of the political contributions of the two national teachers' unions -- the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers -- go to Democrats or to the Democrat Party. Their $56 million in political contributions since 1989 equals that of "Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, and the National Rifle Association combined."

The main beneficiaries of education alternatives are minority children. Yet, at the state level, unions provide a unified lobbying front to block such initiatives.

A recent Wall Street Journal op-ed reported on the glowing success of charter schools in Harlem: "Nationwide the average black 12th grader reads at the level of a white eighth grader. Yet, Harlem charter students ... are outperforming their white peers in wealthy suburbs."

Yet, in 2009, the New York teachers union successfully lobbied the state legislature to freeze charter school spending and now is pushing to limit penetration of charters in school districts.

Kids in Los Angeles' public schools are overwhelmingly Hispanic and black. According to the Los Angeles Times, "just 39% of Los Angeles's fourth-graders are even basically literate." Yet, the Times attributes union lobbying to undermining a recent attempt by the Los Angeles school board to open failing schools to nonunionized charters.

Similarly, unions played a major role in recently killing the successful private school scholarship program in Washington, D.C.

But there's a significant and promising sign that blacks are beginning to fight back. The Rev. James Meeks, founder and senior pastor of the largest black church in Illinois, who is also a Democrat state senator, is taking on the unions. He has introduced a bill opening the door for vouchers for kids in Chicago's public schools.