What do public schools and car assembly lines have in common? Too much, unfortunately.

Check out this new film series, released today, with the catchy title “Kids Aren’t Cars,” which explains why the American public education system is failing our children. 

Using examples from the Midwest, the films expose the negative impact organized labor has had on the American education system, imposing a one-size-fits-all assembly line model that leaves students behind and treats teachers as interchangeable and indistinguishable workers, no better and no worse than the most incompetent and ineffective among them. “Kids Aren’t Cars” explains how that this “union mentality” is stifling innovation and improvement throughout the nation’s public schools.

See the trailer below, and visit their website to watch the first episode among 9 to be released on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Just one week after national school choice week and President Obama’s disappointing statements in the State of the Union, the 9-part short-film series, “Kids Aren’t Cars,” comes at a welcome time. Every day, more and more Americans are coming to the painful realization that America’s public education system is so fundamentally broken that band-aids in the form of increased government spending and national initiatives such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top just don’t work. The foundation on which the American public education system rests needs fixing, and teachers’ unions have laid a significant amount of those shaky bricks.

Too many think that when critics of the public education system point the finger at teachers’ unions, its’ that they have little, or no, appreciation for teachers and the services they perform for society every day. That’s not the case. There are many outstanding public school teachers who try their best to work within a system that too-often rewards seniority over performance, and which treats teachers like interchangeable pawns, instead of professionals.

The critique rather goes to the heart of the matter, which is that the structural realities of a publicly funded and publicly managed education system, that is shielded from effective competition and from hard consequences for failing to account responsibly for taxpayer dollars, is poised to bring bad results.  

Incentives matter. The most promising reform effort steering us towards a future of educational excellence is school choice. It’s high time that we give the market a fair try at delivering the education our governments are failing to provide.