Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Education Secretary

I wonder if 1 in 100 of the people doing what they are told, and chanting slogans against Betsy DeVos, know who Obama's Secretary of Education was?  I don't, and I'm a political wonk.  There may well have been more than one.

But as I ponder the graph here, it seems to me this could be drawn another way: dollars spent per unit of educational outcome.  Logically, if there were a relation between dollars spent and outcome, then it would show up in such a graph.

What this graph REALLY shows is that the amount of actual education achieved for dollar spent has been DECREASING, somewhat precipitously.  Our educational Return on Investment has been in steady decline for decades.

How could Betsy DeVos possibly do worse than quadrupling spending and achieving NOTHING?  Science scores actually went DOWN.

I was pondering today the large buildings all large school districts have, filled with people making six figure incomes who never teach students at all.  What if we got rid of all the administrators, or most of them, and took the saved money to pay our teachers $150,000/year, provided they de-unionized, allowed vouchers and school choice, and were willing to be audited periodically?  Would we not attract and keep much better talent?  We need much less governing, and much more doing.  Bureaucracies are cancers, whose nature is to grow and grow and grow, and snuff the life out of everything surrounding them.

I was wondering too if we could require all teachers to be videotaped.  My youngest was telling me that one of the teachers there regularly goes off on hour long rants about nothing.  They will schedule a quiz, and a class discussion, and then she will just go off on a personal tangent and never come back.

I am uncomfortable with the idea of students controlling teacher's fates--because that could easily become a tool of intimidation--but if students could complain, and then point to a video of a teacher being stupid, progress would be possible; again, if the teachers unions can be broken.

No matter what Trump does there will be screaming.  It's hard to believe, though, that it has any chance of working the way it used to in the past.  As one meme floating around has it, Trump could cure cancer, and then be accused of denying the Grim Reaper his due.  The American people--over half, at any rate--see this for what it is: mean spirited, anti-American, intentionally destructive, and filled with lies and blind hate.

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