Fighting the Cartel November 8, 2010
There is one particular scene on one particular movie that I would like anyone who has ever voted Democratic to watch. The movie is a documentary about the cartel that runs the education system, specifically in New Jersey. The scene is about a lottery drawing for slots in a charter school showing the faces of children whose names have been drawn, and those who were not so lucky. Both are in tears, but are crying for different reasons. The scene focuses on a child weeping for her loss.
Jeannette Catsoulis, a movie critic for the New York Times, describes the scene as a result of the movie director’s “emotional coercion,” and goes on to saying that the weeping child as “another tiny victim of public school hell,” as if not being chosen to get a good education is something trivial.
I like to think that it would be unlikely for anyone without any personal or political stake in the cartel’s control over the education system to watch that particular scene without being moved. Although it is not something new for both students and teachers to fall victim to a system that does not allow teaching and learning to take place in many schools, the way the director presents his points seem like nobody has yet to act on the activities of the cartel. The sad fact is that these activities contribute to the increasing cases of students leaving school unprepared to work in the real world.
It is encouraging to note that since the movie came out, people have started taking steps in keeping themselves informed about how more and more of the taxpayers’ money and government funds are being allotted and spent by the cartel on education. On a recent school-budget election in New Jersey, residents rejected over half of the budgets on the ballot.
It seems that education budgets are not revered anymore in New Jersey. And because of that, Governor Christopher J. Christie was able to take on the teachers’ unions. Although it is regrettable that his efforts on fighting the cartel might seem halfhearted compared to his undiscriminating approach to the waste and greed he is undertaking.
It is worth to note that at the beginning of the film, the director’s credibility to tackle such a powerful issue is immediately established-after all, doesn’t being a local TV reporter in New Jersey carry more reliability in exposing the truth than any other profession?
The director also makes it easy for the audience to understand the flurry of statistics concerning education funding by the government, tax revenues, comparisons of New Jersey educational outcomes with other states and other countries, and so on.
The movie has the cartel running scared now. And the fact that they are criticizing New Jersey’s Governor is not helping them. Hopefully this movie will inspire many to act and do something about this issue. We owe it to the weeping child.