Unions Guarantee Good Jobs for Bad Teachers
Quoting The Wall Street Journal:
The steep deficits that states now face mean that teacher layoffs this year are unavoidable. Parents understandably want the best teachers spared. Yet in 14 states it is illegal for schools to consider anything other than a teacher’s length of service when making layoff decisions... "Fourteen states have these rules but about 40% of all teachers work in those states, and they’re the states with the biggest budget deficits." In addition to New York, the list includes California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin.
The unions that support these laws insist that seniority is the only "fair" way to reduce the teaching work force... [but] "only about 20% of the teachers who have the least seniority are also among the least effective teachers in a district. About 80% of the time, there’s a teacher who’s worse that you could have laid off but didn’t because they had more seniority."
Suck the taxpayers dry, and screw the kids. It’s the union way.
Teachers Unions Prevent Education
How long will America allow teachers unions to fail its children?
Quoting Jerry Pournelle:
In Los Angeles, where the teachers unions have the most favorable contracts I know of from a large school district, the District, forced to cut back, chose to do so by laying off teachers from the 3 worst performing schools in the district. The American Civil Liberties Union promptly went to court to upset this, saying they couldn’t solve their problems on the backs of students from schools for the poor. In theory the lawsuit was to protect the students, although what they are being protected from isn’t clear. Apparently they have a right to be taught by ineffective teachers? But the ACLU and the school district reached an agreement in which the District will be able to lay off teachers using complex rules that have some concession to teacher effectiveness rather than strict seniority. The LA teacher union, predictably, threatens court action. Solidarity forever. The student be damned, bad teachers have rights. Students don’t. Students have no right to an effective teacher: the purpose of the student is to justify the payments to their teachers, and teacher effectiveness must never be considered in school management. So it goes.
Bill Gates has financed studies that strongly indicate that we could double the effectiveness of our school system simply by firing the worst 10% of the teachers. Just fire them. You needn’t replace them. Send the students to other classes. Yes, that would raise class sizes: but our cups overflow with evidence that class size is a far smaller influence on education success than teacher effectiveness. That has been known since the Chapman report. (Good luck on finding the report; I probably don’t know how to look, but I can’t. It was done prior to 1972, and is hardly the only data, as for instance Debunking the Class Size Myth: How to Really Improve Teacher Effectiveness. It’s easy to find more. I bring up Chapman to indicate that we have known all this for a long time.) The point is that almost everyone who has studied the problem understands that the first and most cost effective move we can make would be to fire bad teachers, and that we have known this for forty years, and that it is harder to fire bad teachers now than it was in the days of "Why Johnny Can’t Read". One might suppose that children have a right to be taught effectively, but that is not the case: what they have a right to is the teacher with the most seniority without regard to that teacher’s abilities. The entire system exists to assure bad teachers that they will always be paid.
Destroying the educational and employment prospects of huge swaths of future generations is bad enough, but that’s not all the teachers unions do: they’re also a primary cause of the pension disaster coming soon to cities and states near you. Because making kids stupid isn’t enough; they ought to be bankrupt, too.
Proof That College is More Expensive Than it Should Be
Here’s an article about some university researchers working on a device to create hydrogen from just sunlight and water. It’s been done before, but their process greatly improves on the efficiency of the conversion and the lifespan of the device.
But towards the end of the article, there’s this bit about the fact that some of the parts are made of gold and platinum:
He and colleagues now plan to refine the system, including lowering the cost by making it with less expensive materials. "There is no major reason for using gold or platinum," he says: those materials were used simply because they are common in the laboratory.
I Wish I Had Finished College
The Statistics That Colleges Hate To Share
This article and the many comments on it are pretty interesting. Here’s one that sticks out to me:
The cost of a college education has exploded since the Federal government began pumping huge sums of money into grants, scholarships and subsidized loans. As with any such intervention on this scale the government has created disincentives, skewed incentives and inelastic pricing (or more accurately inflation).
The days of paying for college with a summer job are long over precisely because the government in its infinite wisdom decided that every student should attend a four year university, a right of attendance in fact.
The parallels with medicine are striking and the only reasonable solution is so simple it is beyond the grasp of Statists, stop subsidizing college tuition and in short order costs will plummet.
Directing all high school grads into four year universities with subsidies is a terrible misallocation of resources as evidenced by highly indebted grads who are stuck in low wage service sector jobs. Debt slaves for life through no fault of their own.
When I was in (private) high school, it was clear that everyone was supposed to go to college. Almost everyone in my school did. And the clear implication was that going to college means getting a well-paying job afterwards. The truth is, that’s far from guaranteed, and isn’t even necessarily very likely -- but no one tells you that. And somehow, everyone conveniently fails to mention that you’ll likely be saddled with absurd amounts of debt for years if not decades, regardless of whether you get any job at all after college, let alone one that pays well.
I have this dream probably 100 times per year. Sometimes I’ll go a few weeks without it; other times I’ll have it every night for days on end.
I’m actually kind of surprised that my dreaming mind is still able to trick itself into thinking the situation is real, considering how long ago I got rid of school, and how many times I’ve had the dream and woken up from it realizing that it’s not real.
When asked this riddle 80% of kindergarten kids got the answer, compared to 17% of Stanford University seniors.
What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the poor have it, the rich need it and if you eat it you will die ???