Disturbing Trends in Education Policy Discussions

Claus von Zastrow over at Public School Insights, has a blog post on a disturbing trend in discussions about school reform, namely that paying teachers costs too much, so we should either fire all old teachers (who are at the top of the salary scale) or cap the salary scale at five years, thereby making teaching a low-wage, dead-end, on-your-way-to-something-else job that no one takes on as a career. In this case, I agree with everything he has to say, and don’t have much to add, so just go read it yourself.

This is my favorite bit (though it’s not clear that the original author of the quote meant it to be taken seriously):

A commenter on one blog obligingly revealed some big assumptions behind the idea:

“Solution! Top out the pay scale at the current pay for 5 year teachers. Make the present 5th year the most any teacher can make. This will keep the staff turning over to save lots of money on not only salary, but pensions, as there will be no one stupid enough to stay around for 25 to 30 years to get a very low pension.

Make teaching a short term job for the younger folks as a transition period into a real job.”

Clearly the best way to deal with the fact that kids are (supposedly) failing to learn anything in school is to pay their teachers less and assume they’ll leave after four or five years because teaching isn’t a job you can get better at and good teachers are too expensive.

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