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"Stupid in America" A Message from John Stossel on America's Failing Schools

Yesterday, FreedomWorks hosted a special guest, the Fox Business Network’s John Stossel to take over our Twitter account and discuss his new book, “No They Can’t.”  During this special event, I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Stossel questions about something near and dear to my heart: education reform.  Mr. Stossel is a libertarian who came to fame on ABC’s 20/20, but came around to libertarianism later in life after witnessing the failures of big government.  

Mr. Stossel’s pursuit of limited government and libertarian beliefs has led him to produce many riveting TV specials that so many have come to love.  Using what he calls, “gimmicks,” Stossel creates easy-to-understand documentaries that help the apolitical person understand the perils of big government.  His successful documentaries have led to specials on Fox News and a regular show airing on Fox Business.  

During the discussion I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Stossel how we could deliver the message of education reform to activists who seemed skeptical to take on the powerful teachers unions which have dominated the education debate for so long.  His response was short, sweet and to the point.  Watch my special “Stupid in America.” I was skeptical at first, though I later watched as Mr. Stossel went into more depth during our Twitter town hall. When asked about the problem with big union’s stranglehold on education, he responded, “Create competition, and allow for choice.”  Simple and to the point. I was satisfied.

Following the conversation, I had a chance to watch “Stupid in America” which was originally aired in January of 2006 on ABC’s 20/20 and sheds light on the failures of the American education system. I was astonished by what Mr. Stossel and the people at 20/20 discovered.  

“Stupid in America” exposes failing schools, Europeans outperforming American students, disastrous union policies, and reformers fighting an endless fight to take our schools back.  As expected, this all seemed so obvious until the documentary shifted its focus from the failing schools to those protecting the status quo. In one interview, Mr. Stossel sits down with Randi Weingarten, the then-head of the NYC teachers union, to discuss how teachers are protected by a monstrous web of regulations that make it virtually impossible for any of them to be fired.   

This brief interview stands out to me because it just shows just how manipulative, twisted and power hungry the unions are.  Take heed, take notice, and ask yourself, “How will our kids ever succeed with these unions in control?”

For me Mr. Stossel’s documentary makes me realize just how important the education reforms happening across the country really are.  Anything we can do as activists to crack away at abusive union leadership is something everyone must pursue. We must stand together, never stop fighting and support the brave individuals who stand for education reform. If America is to survive as the leaders and innovators of the free world, we must fix our failed education system.  Are you ready?  


Just Happy13's picture
Margery Ripley

same story same resistance. Any contract(union agreement) that doesn't reward the most productive and penalize the slacker is a contract written to promote COMMUNIST PRINCIPALS.

neilmaccallister's picture
neil maccallister

In this video, Caroline Hoxby offers that "Competition improves both the charter schools AND the private schools"! While without that competition, we are left with what Kevin Chavous here describes as "A system where we do not distinguish, do not reward excellence".

Like HealthCare, Education needs competition. School competition was seen here being successful in Belgium. What could be more important to teach a child than, "If you do well you will advance, and if you do poorly you will fail"? America is losing that crucial truth of life! We just do not have enough money to bail out every failing Wall Street millionaire, nor every unemployed illiterate high school graduate! We had better wise up and start teaching competence!

Meanwhile, my daughter's 2008 Junior College classes were all dismissed by her teachers on the day the faculty was supporting the campus "Obama for President" rally. And our President doesn't even send his kids to public school!

Wild911Call's picture
Carlton Tilley

Any real reform would have to bust the teachers union. plain and simple! dissolve the department of education and return the schools to the states.

A work force rooted in socialism & communism influence should not be the leaders we intrust our children and future to!