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Henderson on the Ingraham Angle

Summary:
I was on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News Channel Thursday night to discuss my op/ed in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.I would give highlights but the interview lasts only 4 minutes.We hit the main themes of my WSJ op/ed.One point I was hoping we would get to is my point that I made in the WSJ piece about why public schools are so dominant. Let’s say you find a relatively inexpensive school for your kid where the tuition is ,000 annually. For it to be worth it to you, it can’t be just that you value the education at more than ,000. The hurdle is much higher. For it to be worth it, you must value the private school education at at least ,000 more than you value the public school education.Joining me now is David Henderson, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. David, could unions

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I was on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News Channel Thursday night to discuss my op/ed in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.

I would give highlights but the interview lasts only 4 minutes.

We hit the main themes of my WSJ op/ed.

One point I was hoping we would get to is my point that I made in the WSJ piece about why public schools are so dominant. Let’s say you find a relatively inexpensive school for your kid where the tuition is $8,000 annually. For it to be worth it to you, it can’t be just that you value the education at more than $8,000. The hurdle is much higher. For it to be worth it, you must value the private school education at at least $8,000 more than you value the public school education.

Joining me now is David Henderson, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. David, could unions actually be putting themselves out of business permanently with these charades? [DRH note: I’m actually not a senior fellow, but a research fellow. I’ve found, though, that when I correct the host, especially as the first thing I say, it can destroy momentum.]

DAVID HENDERSON, SENIOR FELLOW, HOOVER INSTITUTION: I think so and the reason is that what will happen I think is a lot of parents, potentially millions of parents will figure out where they’re going to do these learning pods, various things where they get a few kids together. I think they’re going to figure out how mediocre the public school system is on average.

INGRAHAM: Well, when you see that teachers through the union reps are now trying to dictate the terms of even their online teaching, I thought that was — I literally thought that was something from the onion (ph) or something, a total joke. They’re not going to go to class because they’re worried about the virus. OK, even if you disagree with that, OK. But now, they don’t want to actually teach online either.

So, what’s the point of having these public schools in these circumstances? And look, I come from a family of teachers and I really appreciate great teachers. I went to public schools. I had fabulous teachers in Connecticut, loved my teachers. But this now is just pulling the curtain back on all of this.

HENDERSON: Yes, it is. So, I wrote a piece in The Wall Street Journal today and saying there could be a renaissance in K-12 education because when this ends, whenever it ends or whether — when it seems to end, a lot of parents I think will not want to go back to those mediocre schools. And I mean pre- pandemic mediocre schools and they might want to continue homeschooling. There’s polling data that says 40.8% of parents are inclined to home-school when this ends. I think that’s overstated, but even if a third of them do, the number of home-school kids would almost quadruple.

And then there are also charter schools. Those things are thousands of dollars cheaper per student per year. And so, I think a lot of parents will start pushing for those. People who have been kind of passive about this might start pushing to have charter schools.

INGRAHAM: Yes, Catholic schools as well. A lot of them are–

HENDERSON: Yes.

INGRAHAM: — bucking this no in-person teaching and understand the importance–

HENDERSON: Right.

INGRAHAM: — of parent involvement, but teacher to student interaction, it’s so essential if you’re going to go that route.

HENDERSON: Yes.

INGRAHAM: Listen to what Biden said when he was addressing the National Education Association earlier this month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: There’s a bottom line here. We win this election, we’re going to get the support you need and the respect you deserve. You don’t just have a partner in the White House; you’ll have an NEA member in the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENDERSON: Oh, wow!

(LAUGHTER)

INGRAHAM: David, that is a shocking admission in any election, but particularly now that the unions are striking really against the kids — they’re striking against kids at this point.

HENDERSON: Yes. And so of course, the problem is the standard problem with unions. That it’s very hard to fire someone who doesn’t perform. You put union and government together, and you’ve got those two problems multiplying each other, and that is very hard. That’s why charter schools – – that’s one reason charter schools are very good. It’s much easier to get rid of non-performing teachers, and it tends to attract teachers who really want to teach.

INGRAHAM: Well, if you’re an essential employee, which they are essential employees, unless they have a severe co-morbidity, they shouldn’t — or extremely vulnerable, I don’t understand how they get away with any of this. But this is the governors and the mayors and Larry Hogan in Maryland and Ralph Northam in Virginia, both of them are complete outrageous.

I’m getting parents calling me morning, noon and night also in D.C., of course. And this is where parents of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, all have to work together to say, “No, we don’t accept this,” or go a different direction altogether. David, your piece was fantastic. I’ll make sure to tweet it out. Thanks so much.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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