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    the permanent education crisis..., 2011-02-23 11:49:09 | Main | the snake oil is about the same as the hypochondriasis, only worse..., 2011-02-24 14:16:18

    in which researchers are shocked to find the quality of the labor force declined with reductions in compensation:

    I'm glad somebody checked to make sure the blindingly obvious was empirically measurable:

    Many poor countries are initiating teacher contract reforms to meet a growing demand for primary education at a time of increasing government deficits. Key aspects of this reform include reduced salaries and benefits for new, contractual teachers. Using data from Togo, we find that students of regular teachers systematically outperform those of contractual teachers, even after controlling for prior achievement, household-, school- and classroom characteristics. Variation in teaching methods, absenteeism, and resentment over "unfair" pay across contract types do not explain the performance gap. Instead, our findings suggest the reforms triggered a reduction in supply of high quality teacher entrants.

    The solution Democrats and Republicans - the latter only differ over how much violence is acceptable - have been trying to sell us is that they can improve teacher quality by paying them less, and I don't think you need a good education to intuitively understand that we would be idiots if we bought what they're peddling. I take this as more evidence of the chronic failure of our political system to produce leaders who are not mentally disabled. I think it might be easier to fix a few thousand politicians - some of us, we have to hope, must be both qualified for office and of average intelligence - than it would be to improve the aggregate scores of millions of students such that they were no longer "in crisis".

    Either we're going to have to replace them or we're going to have to pay for their remedial educations - and they're constistently performing at a 4th grade level so it's going to be extremely expensive to give them just the equivalent of a GED and bring them up to a level of education where they are capable of having adult conversations.


:: posted by buermann @ 2011-02-23 14:34:10 CST | link





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