- - Thursday, July 28, 2011

If the disturbing documentary “Waiting for Superman” didn’t convince you that a massive overhaul of the public education system is necessary, maybe the massive cheating scandal erupting in the Atlanta public school system will.

First off, there is no argument that public education in America is a complete and total disaster. Our children routinely score at the bottom of the barrel in math, science and geography, while more than 50 percent of other children drop out of high school in some districts.

It’s not that our children are dumb, but rather that they are tossed into a dumb, antiquated system that is controlled by one of the largest and most powerful unions in the nation, the National Education Association (NEA).

Instead of using their bully pulpit to demand educational upgrades across the board, the NEA works hard to ensure that teachers get tenure, more sick days, pensions supported by taxpayers and more and more benefits. The NEA couldn’t give a damn about children, and the test scores prove it. Shame on the NEA.

Regardless the reasons for the cheating, almost 200 teachers and administrators in the Atlanta public school system cheated by inflating the test scores of children taking the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. The cheaters probably were all NEA members. They should all be fired immediately and have their teaching certificates burned.

Of course, Democrats will rally to the NEA’s aid, as the teachers union is their largest cash contributor. If the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful pro-gun organization, though not a union, was found to be complicit in a gun-running operation for Mexican drug cartels instead of the brain-dead dimwits at the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, you can bet President Obama would rain down fire on the NRA and demand their demise.

But there are no such powerful or condemning words from the president or any other Democrat who benefits from NEA dollars. Their silence tells you where their allegiance is, and it’s not to ensure our children get a solid education.

It’s more of the same Liberalism 101 curse.

The systematic cheating scandal in Atlanta will be swept under the rug by Democrats and the NEA. You won’t hear a word about it in the next couple weeks. In fact, the story is already old news, even though it’s more hurtful than President Nixon’s Watergate scandal.

If we truly cared about providing our children with a quality, world-class, proper education as we once did, we would start by busting up the NEA and then completely dismantling the public-education system, which, like the U.S. Postal Service and the penny, has outlived its usefulness.

Instead of having our tax dollars confiscated and funneled to a union-controlled system that produces unclean, slovenly, fat dunces and dropouts, educating our children should be left up to the free market. Parents could then decide which school their child would attend. Bad schools would close, and good ones would prosper. Perfect.

Under the current system, bad teachers, bad administrators and bad schools continue producing children who are largely illiterate and unable to compete in an ever-changing, technical and global marketplace. Something must change, and it must change now.

Let’s use the Atlanta cheating scandal as the impetus to bust up the NEA. No organization, system or union that impacts the public should be rewarded for consistently producing dismal results.

Our children deserve better, and parents should demand better.

Hey dropout, pull up your pants.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

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