Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » ED PLATFORM


Filed at 6:53 pm under by dcobranchi

Here’s a shocker– Chester Finn (aka the Education Gadfly) writing on the NRO is not impressed with Kerry’s education platform.

“We must raise pay for teachers, especially in the schools and subjects where great teachers are in the shortest supply…. At the same time, we must create rigorous new incentives and tests for new teachers…. And teachers deserve due process protection from arbitrary dismissal, but we must have fast, fair procedures for improving or removing teachers who do not perform on the job.”

I actually think two out of three of these are a pretty good start. Raising pay for teachers in short supply is just a market-based salary structure. The NEA would never go for it, but it’s good economics. The second proposal is just tinkering around the edges, but the third plank touches on the third rail of NEA politics– tenure. That Kerry would include even this indirect call for modifying tenure in the g-schools has got to be a watershed in Democratic Party politics.

2 Responses to “ED PLATFORM”

Comment by
July 26th, 2004
at 8:28 pm

The AZ Republic ran a nice article about school budgets in AZ this weekend. They highlighted the Phoenix Elementary district’s $34M budget for all salaries, teachers, administrators, etc… The figure does not include benefits, which are covered by an additional $7M line item. Anyway, for a district of 7700 students, it seemed to me that there should be more than enough money to pay teachers very well and have small class sizes. For example – Assume a salary of $60,000 and class size of 20. You would need 400 teachers plus 100 staff & administrators. 500 * 60,000 = $30M.

I can’t imagine that you’d need more than 100 support staff for 10-12 elementary schools, but maybe I’m missing something, as I understand that the ratio of teachers to non-teachers is about 1:1.

Comment by
July 28th, 2004
at 7:27 am

Actually, I think it’s higher.