Thursday, October 28, 2010

The coming earthquake

Chester Finn has written a must-read article about "the convergence of four big developments that could shake the bedrock of education policy and possibly of American politics," namely:
  1. The country has come to understand the wide range of teacher quality and its crucial link to school effectiveness and student achievement.
  2. Economic hard times are posing major challenges to state and local treasuries, of which huge fractions consist of public education, within which 75 to 80 percent of the money typically goes into salaries and benefits, mostly for teachers. 
  3. Recession, unemployment, and the Tea Party have fueled an intensifying resentment of the privileged status of public employees, their job security, their (relatively) generous pay, and their lavish but sorely underfunded benefits, which threaten to place an unsustainable burden on future generations of taxpayers. 
  4. We’re witnessing a gradual but nontrivial change in public perceptions of teacher unions and their power over the system.
Read the whole thing.

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