Imagine Munger as Governor

by David Safier
Lennon_munger John Munger is playing coy about his gubernatorial aspirations. But there's got to be a reason he's working so hard to dump his old semi-hysterical, Republican-talking-points persona and recreate himself as a visionary.

Munger created an website (Full name across the top bar: Imagine Arizona – State of Arizona Public Policy – John Munger). It's a PAC, and Munger is Chairman. And today he has his second recent visionary op ed in the Star (he wrote another one awhile ago), this time about my favorite subject, education. His co-author is Lisa Graham Keegan, past Arizona Ed Supe, big promoter of charters and vouchers and McCain's education advisor in his presidential bid.

So what's Munger/Keegan's visionary educational idea? Here's a hint: the column should have a huge asterisk with a note at the bottom: See Matthew Ladner. It's all Ladner, all the time. You've read every one of the ideas here on BfA in Ladner's own words.

Note to Munger: The other John — Lennon, that is — may have cowritten songs with McCartney, but he never cribbed straight from Paul's playbook.

Check these ideas from Munger's column against the ideas you've seen Ladner express here.

  • How much does Arizona spend per student? $9,707. Check.
  • Who's got the best education for the least money? Florida. Check.
  • Whose interference gets in the way of schools improving performance? Teachers' unions. Check. ("Imagine no more unions. It's easy if you try.")
  • What do we need and how do we get it? We need great teachers, and we get them by paying them six figure salaries. Check and check.
  • How do we give teachers high salaries without increasing school budgets? Increase class size. Check. ("Imagine crowded classrooms. It isn't hard to do.")

"You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
Munger for Governor — c'mon, it'll be fun."

How easy was that, John? I could have written that op ed for you, it was so familiar. I almost expected you to address me by name and accuse me of clinging to my teddy bear, like Matthew does when I tell him his $9,500 figure is the exclusive province of G.I. and the politicians who love it. (Next on Oprah: G.I. and the politicians who love it. Let's find out if they can break the cycle of dependency.)

Another note to Munger: While Ladner's ideas, laid out in his New Millenium Schools pamphlet, make sense as a small scale experiment at a charter school, it's a ludicrous concept on a statewide scale, and if you're looking at a run for governor, you need to think large scale. But keep pushing the idea, John, and be sure to remind voters you want to crowd more students in classrooms so you can pay the teachers more. Here's an idea. Call them Rock Star Teachers. Kinda like Jack Black in "School of Rock." That's sure to win the voters over.

0 responses to “Imagine Munger as Governor

  1. The biggest bullies in our classrooms are the teacher’s union? Really, GOP Spartan?

    Everyone knows that it is the Arizona Legislature. I have to deal with these yahoos so I can attest to this fact.

    In Arizona, only 8.8% of all workers are members of a union, and only 9.8% of all workers are represented by a union.
    This is well below the national average of 12.4% in 2008.
    Workers in education, training and library occupations had the highest unionization rate at 38.7% nationally (this percentage is skewed by union friendly states, which does not include Arizona)

    So GOP Spartan is scapegoating a distinct minority — teachers who belong to a teacher’s union — and blames them for all of the ills of Arizona’s education system. Why does this sound so familiar? GOP Spartan may need to study history to figure it out.

  2. doesn’t the GI funny math include things like home lunches that parents provide?

    also, even if it was a good comparison and not apples and oranges, don’t know where they get the figure of 50 students in south korean classes, i’ve heard very different accounts.

    they keep wanting to blame the unions but i’ve hardly seen any union folk at the ed rallies, mostly concerned voters. like the pink slip rally recently, there were way more parents than pink slipped teachers.

  3. David Safier


    Glad I could bring a little light into your weekend.

  4. Matthew Ladner


    You are cracking me up, but I am far more in Lisa Graham Keegan’s debt than the other way around. Mr. Munger obviously can interpret the Superintendent’s Financial Report correctly, and seems to know a good statewide reform plan when he sees their NAEP scores soaring.

  5. GOP Spartan


    When are you going to learn, the Kool-Aid that runs through Safier’s veins can’t change color with logic and rational thought.

    He’s a stooge for the biggest bullies in our kid’s classrooms; the teacher’s union.

    Who else could make the argument that it is better to lay off an energetic highly qualified “teacher of the Year” that a 20 year teacher that has become an oxygen thief and a tax eating cancer.

    Only a union thug would support such logic.

    This is not about what’s best for our kids, it’s about what’s best for shoring up a failed system, propagated by a failed union mentality and the lowest common denominator.

    Florida rewarded and incentives performance. The also set goals and held their schools to them, unlike Arizona that consistently waters their goals down so as not to give the idea to parents that our schools are failing.

    It’s time to take the unions out of the classroom, instill competition, reward performance and put to bed the notion that education is more about more funding and less about accountability.

    Munger, Ladner, whomever, we need to revamp the system, I can care less who leads the effort, just as long as it gets done and done soon.

  6. What figure are you disputing? Is it the total amount recieved for public education thru all sources state wide? The number of students?