At The Atlantic More On Obsolete Law, And Whitmire And Biddle Sleep On The Couch

Over at The Atlantic I take a look at the issue of obsolete law and how it becomes so prevalent in education policy:

Last year, Adam Gray was named the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. Despite the honor, Gray, who is in his twenties, was dismissed from his South Boston high school shortly thereafter because of rules that make seniority more important than performance when deciding layoffs. He now teaches at the prestigious Boston Latin.

Not surprisingly, follies like this are commonly cited as examples of how archaic practices persist in education. Yet focusing on these absurd examples to score some easy points — as is typical in the education debate — obscures the larger, far more serious systemic problems that underlie them.

You can read the entire op-ed looking at three big drivers of obsolete law – and others in the series – via this link.

At NY Daily News Richard Whitmire and RiShawn Biddle say the real casualty of the war on women is boys.

2 Replies to “At The Atlantic More On Obsolete Law, And Whitmire And Biddle Sleep On The Couch”

  1. There is very simple solution to this issue and it resides in freedom for all market participants.

    Provide teachers with all of the rights and job protections of the private sector.

    If teachers were no longer signed to binding contracts, then given the right to leave with 1-2 weeks notice, and have confidential performance appraisals, the entire landscape of education reform would change.

    Every teacher needs to be treated and act like a private sector employee. Their most consuming task should be to protect their own self interest.

    Private market reforms would work. But there is only one problem. Parents would not accept it.

    What is being offered by R and his posse is simple; Compulsory nanny work. No one in their rational mind would pick that. In fact, aren’t their laws against that?

  2. There are several assumptions in the edu-reform debate that are risible:

    1. An endless supply of math and science teachers exists to fill classrooms.

    2. There is no cost associated with teacher turnover.

    3. Lower benefits attract better talent.

    4. Onerous rules, and massive public penalties bring forth the best efforts of the intelligent.

    5. Smart people want to be bossed around by parents, their children, journalists, and right wing think tankers.

    6. Smart people want their performance appraisals published.

    7. That teachers are highly effective after 1 year with the right training at no cost to taxpayers.

    8. That smart people want stupid, fat bosses.

    9. That smart people want at best a guaranteed dead end career track, and at worst a short, unremarkable, career with the potential for public humiliation.

    10. That parents want a new teacher every year for their child because some think tanker said it would work.

    11. That the quantity and quality of reform improves the farther the reformers are from the operating sites.

    12. That being an outsider is good for reform.

    13. That pursuing one’s own rational self interest is evil if done by a teacher.

    14. That smart people crave the idea of no agency in a job filled with massive amounts of responsibility and accountability.

    15. That anyone really knows what makes up a good teacher.

    It is time to kill the edu-reform movement. Let’s starve it and drown it in the bathtub.

    A note to Mr. R. Shame on you for using the fallacy of composition in your first few sentences. The travesty against that one english teacher is somehow indicative of an even greater problem.? Rotten logic to the core.

    Or in the words of the Navy: Terrible staff work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.