Friday, February 02, 2007

Outdated Education

Tribune has a thoughtful editorial on how to improve Illinois' schools. I especially liked this quote:
Local public education in Illinois is accustomed to doing what it pleases. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg unwittingly spoke for many frustrated taxpayers in Illinois and elsewhere when he declared in December: "The fact is, our education system looks a lot like the U.S. auto industry in the 1970s--stuck in a flabby, inefficient, outdated production model driven by the needs of employees rather than consumers. ... [M]ediocrity and failure are tolerated, and excellence goes unrewarded."
Unfortunately we can't import a good education for our students, and competition
only exists in the private sector. Lifting the cap on charter schools would be a step in the right direction.

UPDATE: WSJ on teacher salaries, "Is $34.o6 Per Hour 'Underpaid'?":
Who, on average, is better paid -- public school teachers or architects? How about teachers or economists? You might be surprised to learn that public school teachers are better paid than these and many other professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school teachers earned $34.06 per hour in 2005, 36% more than the hourly wage of the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty or technical worker.
And of course higher teacher pay does not translate to better student performance, perhaps because the higher pay is not based on the teachers' own performance, hmm? As we know, firing a bad public school teacher is practically impossible. Full report at the Manhattan Institute.

Previous post: Parents v. the Board of Ed

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