Friday, October 08, 2010

Perception vs. Reality

Andrew J. Coulson writes in President: “We Need More Teachers.” Reality: “Yoohoo! I’m Right Over Here! Hellooo!”:

This week, President Obama called for the hiring of 10,000 new teachers to beef up math and science achievement. Meanwhile, in America, Earth, Sol-System, public school employment has grown 10 times faster than enrollment for 40 years (see chart), while achievement at the end of high school has stagnated in math and declined in science (see other chart).

Either the president is badly misinformed about our education system or he thinks that promising to hire another 10,000 teachers union members is politically advantageous–in which case he would seem to be badly misinformed about the present political climate. Or he lives in an alternate universe in which Kirk and Spock have facial hair and government monopolies are efficient. It’s hard to say.

Go check out Andrew's charts.


evarun21 said...

I had a lot of friends in college who were homeschooled. They said one of the biggest challenges of leaving high school was the cost of homeschooling. Their parents had to pay for books, supplies, technology, etc. But they said it was definately worth it. They said they saved money by reselling their homeschooling books to the book buyback site

Tootlee said...

Humm...adding more fuel to a fire doesn't always work to put it out. Hiring more teachers in a very messed up system is just going to make it even more messed up. At least that's my opinion.

Luke said...

Hmm... I know excellent public school teachers who had to take 40% pay cuts this last year. Not sure how they're going to hire more teachers.


Henry Cate said...

Tootlee - you make a great point.

Luke - It is crazy. I wonder how much longer those public school teachers will stick around.

Awhile back I read a column that said that one of the single best things we could do to improve public education would be to fire the worse 10%. Too many of the good teachers are demoralized by the bad teachers.