China and its Discontents

This is an Attack on Teachers’ Social Value

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Around the country, many teachers see demands to cut their income, benefits and say in how schools are run through collective bargaining as attacks not just on their livelihoods, but on their value to society.

This great New York Times article gets to the heart of the matter: breaking the backs of public sector unions inherently entails vilifying teachers and everyone else who enters public service as ‘leeches’ and the like. Ironically, this also comes at a time when more young people than ever are entering into public service. People decry poor results in education and yet don’t realize that attracting better teachers means that we have to raise the status of teachers in society and pay them more. There’s a reason why Teach for America is effective at getting college students to commit to the job for a few years, but isn’t as effective in recruiting life-long teachers.

This isn’t just true in education; it’s true across the public sector. We wonder why the SEC isn’t doing its job effectively and then forget that the GOP is cutting its budget, which just sends more quality public service employees into the much higher-paying financial industry.

Written by Will

March 2nd, 2011 at 8:09 pm