Rahm Emanuel, politicians, and the teachers’ unions

Chicago Mayor, and former Obama Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel had a temper tantrum today when an NBC, Chicago blogger asked him why he sent his kids to a private school.


To be fair to the blogger, I am sure that she merely wanted to provide Emanuel a venue through which he could answer the question that is being asked of all liberal politicians who back teachers unions, and the current status of the public schools, while sending their children to a private school.  This hypocrisy has been pointed out with the Clintons and the Obamas, but as the blogger points out, they handled the question more adeptly.  Emanuel, as many have said, doesn’t have the same temperament.    

In this interview, Emanuel attempted to play the Chris Christie card saying that this was a private decision, a family decision, and a decision made by a father.  I’m quite sure that if this story is repeated in the media Rahm’s answer will be called the Christie answer.  What they won’t point out, again if they report it, is the gulf between Emanuel and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on this issue. Christie, unmindful of the short term negatives polls, is attempting to fix the public school problem in his state while Emanuel is benefitting from the status quo status of the public school in his state. 

If it is true that the teacher’s union is part of the problem in the public schools, then one needs to find out what their representatives are doing to correct the decades of inept (or some have said corrupt) management of our public schools by the teachers’ union.  To be fair to Emanuel, he has had some fights with the teachers’ union, as Chicago’s coffers have begun to run dry, but many question whether Emanuel would have done anything if Chicago wasn’t in such dire straits.  Even with those “problems” Chicago’s Teachers Union did have a fundraising page set up for Rahm Emanuel shortly after his election, for inaugural, so it would be difficult to call their relationship adversarial.


A Google search for “Chris Christie teachers union” shows nothing but Christie’s disagreements with how New Jersey’s money should be spent.  One could argue that Christie’s methodology may be too confrontational, but others would argue that it is going to take a herculean effort to change the way things are done in places like New Jersey, Chicago and Omaha.  Anyone who has watched the movie “Waiting for Superman” knows the task ahead of Christie and any individual who attempts to take on the teacher’s union of their locale.  Some have said that Christie’s efforts thus far have been so promising that he may be presidential material.      

Anyone who has watched that movie “Waiting for Superman” or John Stossel’s 20/20 special “Stupid in America” learns how dire the situation is in some public schools when they see the faces of those who have won and lost school lotteries.  School lotteries allow certain kids who win to go to a respective school outside the realm of the public school system.  If it weren’t so sad, it might be funny.  These people act like they’ve…well, they’ve won the lottery.  They act like they’ve won millions of dollars, but all they’ve won is the right to have their kids go to a school that is outside the public school system.  Why is it such a thrill that they’ve won such a right?  One could say that as a parent they’ve won the right to provide a better future for their children.  If that’s true, if these people are displaying more than the simple joy of victory, how bad must these schools be?

Mayors, like Emanuel, and Governors, and any and all politicians who do nothing to fix the current system are basically telling us that they would rather get elected to office.  They would rather have a career as a politician over the complicated and unpopular role of problem fixer.


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