Mr. Bookworm loves Jon Stewart. Most of his political views are shaped by Jon Stewart, except for those that get a helping hand from the New York Times. I therefore ending up watching more Jon Stewart than I like. What I’ve noticed about Stewart’s coverage on Wisconsin is that it’s very narrow in focus. It asks just one question: How dare conservatives beat up on teachers, who are nice people who care for our children?
You know what? I agree that most (although not all) teachers are nice people who care about our children. Many of these nice people are also dedicated, high quality educators. Nevertheless, conservatives are doing the right thing.
Our public education system is sick, and we, the taxpayers, are funding that sick system. How is it sick? We pay public teachers more and more and more, both compared to salaries in the past and compared to similarly situated private school teachers, but we get less and less and less for that money. Not only has public school education remained precisely the same in terms of outcome for decades now (long before the salary, pension and tenure boom), but those less well-paid private school teachers are doing a much better job. Reason gives the details:
When you perform necessary surgery, you invariably injury healthy tissue even as you cut out or sew up the life-draining problem. Right, the good teachers (as opposed to the screaming union goons) are feeling the heat. Still, they are, sadly, the necessary fallout for fixing a terminally sick situation.