So, I’ve often wondered what is the biggest problem with public education today.
Is it something philosophical –like they are teaching kids to love the welfare state?
Or perhaps it is financial–maybe insufficient resources, or poor allocation of resources?
Or maybe institutional–a number of problems related to bloated educational bureaucracies, to excess regulation, to heavy-handed school boards?
Perhaps it is informational–insufficient knowledge about what makes for sound pedagogy.
But after seeing this quote while reading Marginal Revolution today, I’m thinking the main problem is purely political:
The city will end the practice of paying teachers to play Scrabble, read or surf the Internet in reassignment centers nicknamed “rubber rooms” as they await disciplinary hearings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the teachers union announced Thursday.
The deal will close the centers, where hundreds of educators spend months or years in bureauratic limbo, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year.
How many terms in office has it taken Bloomberg to figure this out? I think, just maybe, this would make sense. Brother.
Newsweek ran a (fairly bold for a MSM outlet) cover story a few weeks ago saying that we really need most is the ability to fire bad teachers. More and more research is showing the importance of teaching quality, and yet the teachers’ unions continue to hold reform hostage since they pretty much own the ruling Democratic parties in the cities and states where educational reform is most badly needed.