Suppose the education service market were truly competitive?

A couple quick points on a great article in The Wall Street Journal. First, do we really want a bunch of teachers teaching our kids whose primary outlook on life is to play it safe for forty years until retirement? Is that the kind of mentality we want instilled in our kids and entering into the market place?

Second, what would happen if the market for educational services was truly competitive? Suppose we encourage more private schools and for parents who choose private school, they are made exempt from paying school board taxes. That 74.2 cents in retirement and health care benefits for every dollar of wages paid to a teacher in Wisconsin would fall like a rock.

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
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One Response to Suppose the education service market were truly competitive?

  1. Kenneth J. Ciszewski says:

    “…do we really want a bunch of teachers teaching our kids whose primary outlook on life is to play it safe for forty years until retirement?” Well, let’s see, they are teachers, not entrepreneurs or mountain climbers, so they are probably not going to be great risk takers. And yet, I don’t remember the teachers in my day telling us to play it safe and not take risks. Neither did I see my children’s teachers do that–that topic was not part of the curriculum. What the teachers did was encourage love of learning, stimulated our minds and taught us many important skills–reading, writing, mathematics, critical thinking, how to research a topic and prepare a coherent written essay about it, all of which are critical skills in the business world.

    As for the competition issue: competition doesn’t cure all problems. I know that many people feel that it does, but in my experience, it often causes more problems than it solves, some of the worst of which are how it hinders team work and cooperation, while at the same time it encourages people to value achievement over other human values, such as respect for others, compassion for others, helpfulness toward others. It sometimes encourages those in competition to take short cuts and cheat. Now there’s a great example for our children!!!!!!!

    I don’t think the Wall Street Bankers who almost ruined the world economy two years ago learned risk taking in school. And obviously, if they had done so, that is clearly not a desirable thing!!!!!

    When compared to sports athletes, teachers are woefully underpaid. Who is more valuable to society as a whole, and to business, if we look at the larger picture? I vote for the teachers. Based on that, pensions and benefits are fitting rewards for the difficult work that teachers do. We don’t have problem if some athlete makes $150 million over several years. But give teachers a pension, and oh my!!!

    Rather than encouraging private schools by funding them publicly, which is what your proposal would do, it would be better if we set standards for curriculum and learning achievement, then measured students at the beginning of the school year and also at the end with standardized tests (not the ridiculous tests like the state MAP tests used in Missouri) to see how they are doing. Those who are falling behind would get additional tutoring and instruction, and perhaps psychological and other testing to see if they have any health or mental issues that need correction. This, of course, would require more teachers to provide the extra help that is required. We won’t do this, of course, because as a society, we are not really committed to our children’s education. Despite “No Child Left Behind”, as a society, we figure, if they get it, they get it, and let the devil take the hind most.

    In some cases, the fact that children live in poverty is what needs correction, but we don’t want to talk about that. Try doing math on an empty stomac

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