Rebecca Friedrichs is an unsung hero who should be sung about a whole lot more. She is an Orange County public school teacher with 28 years of being an educator under her belt. She also, just last year, found herself facing off against one of the most powerful teacher's unions in the United States, the California Teachers Association (CTA).
More amazingly, she used to be one of the union leaders.
Friedrichs tried to affect change from within the CTA — who were buying off politicians that restricted competition, and charging teachers absurd membership fees — that caused schools to stagnate. But Friedrichs soon came to realize that only the voters and the courts can break the hold that the union had over the state of California.
"Sadly, parents and educators no longer run our public schools because labor unions control way too much on our campuses today," Friedrichs told TheBlaze. "I understand why labor unions focus on getting more for their members; that’s their business model, and getting more money and power for themselves is their value. Great teachers and parents don’t share the unions’ values or business model. We believe children should be first in our schools, and we believe educational excellence and safety should reign supreme."
"Simply put," she added, "parents know what’s best for their children and their family circumstances. They should be able to choose the schools that fit their lifestyles and their children’s needs."
And due to her battle, Friedrichs became something of an icon for school choice. This in turned grabbed the attention of the popular conservative site, Prager U.
Prager U is engaging in their own push to make school choice the norm in the United States, and with other organizations, created SchoolChoiceNow.com, which will release a video every quarter in 2017, discussing why school choice is the best way our children can get a worthwhile education.
Naturally, they chose Friedrichs to star in their first video discussing why good teachers support school choice, and how competition has been proven to work for schools, just like it works well for the free market.
“We support school choice because we believe that parents and students should be able to choose education options that best fit their needs. It’s not the government’s place to limit school options, and children should not be condemned to bad public schools because of the zip code they live in," Prager U's Director of Outreach Elisha Krauss told TheBlaze. "We are excited to partner with so many other pro-school choice organizations who speak for the majority of Americans, and we hope that our new video and our entire School Choice Now campaign in 2017 shows millions of more Americans why school choice can fix America’s education system.”
This is a message Friedrichs wants to get across very clearly. Having had years of experience with children, she's gotten a pretty good idea about how they learn and grow. As she told us, the way public schools treat kids nowadays you would think they view the children as defective, and in need of drugging to make them "normal."
"I believe our current public education system is designed for those who can sit still and listen all day," Friedrichs told TheBlaze. "Many boys — and some girls — do not fit this category, so we often drug them and call them “deficit,” and “disorder.” I’ve had hundreds of these little boys in my classes throughout my career — and one of them grew in my womb — and none of them seemed “deficit,” or “disorder” to me."
"They were just wiggly little boys who would learn a whole lot better if we could provide a more active learning environment and stop emasculating them," she continued. "My heart breaks that we label so many boys in such negative terms; especially since so many of them are gifted. This is just one example of why school choice is the right choice. Children aren’t carbon copies of one another, so why should they all attend schools designed to serve only one brand of kid?"
With Friedrichs and Prager U teaming up, both are confident that school choice across the nation is an achievable goal.
"Prager U has a huge national following with a large percentage under 35 years old. As a public school educator and parent of children who attended public schools, I’m well acquainted with a lot of the indoctrination going on in our schools today - talk about fake news!" Friedrichs told us. "Knowing the Prager U messages are reaching the younger generations gives me hope many will learn the Judeo-Christian values our great country was founded upon, so we can restore truth and goodness in our culture."
If you would like to learn more about school choice, check out Prager U's site schoolchoicenow.com.