Magazine October 18, 2021, Issue

Make Schools Local Again

Jodi Cook helps her son off the school bus in Brooklyn, N.Y., September 20, 2021. (Hannah Beier/Reuters)
Breaking up large districts would restrain teachers’ unions

The many lessons of the COVID pandemic have included an unwelcome one for public-school parents about the outsized power of American teachers’ unions. Even as private schools remained open or reopened, almost half of public-school districts in the United States continued with “hybrid” learning — the unproven combination of Zoom and classroom instruction. In schools with lower achievement levels, there were fewer in-person classes, according to the American Enterprise Institute’s Return to Learn Tracker. As events in San Francisco and other cities made clear, it was the teachers’ unions rather than elected officials who had the whip hand when it …

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Howard Husock is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on local government, civil society, and urban-housing policy.

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