Friday, September 14, 2012

David Brooks Claims That Teachers Are Overpaid

David Brooks entered into the debate about the Chicago teacher strike.  He followed his usual technique of embedding one issue with other issues that are important to him.  The quote below is specific to the issue in Chicago:

" The Chicago teachers’ strike is a test of this proposition. The Chicago school system is a classic case of a bloated, inefficient Economy II organization. The average Chicago teacher makes $76,000 a year in a city where the average worker makes $47,000 a year. Rising school costs have helped push the system deep into the red. Meanwhile, the outcomes are not good. Forty percent of students drop out and 8 percent of 11th graders meet college readiness standards".
Brooks also included comments on the best way to cut costs in education and healthcare.  To the surprise of nobody, he argues that consumer directed healthcare, which uses the price system to ration healthcare, is the solution for cutting healthcare costs.  Similarly, he argues that the use of vouchers and charter schools to privatize the education system is the best way to deal with the high cost of public education.  Somehow, he believes that private industry can attract quality teachers at lower pay, and turn out a better product while still making a profit.  I don't know what world he lives in. Charter schools have not turned out a better product and they have not lowered the cost of education.  They also have selective admission policies.  They don't want to incur the cost of dealing with special need students that consume 25% of most public school budgets.

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