As with any service business, there’s a natural feedback system built-in that is obscured by government interference: school administrators would be sensitive to making sure parents’ demands are fulfilled. In a free market in education, schools face the risk of losing students if they don’t fulfill such demands. Students, parents, and administrators tend to know who the good and bad teachers are without referring to seemingly ‘objective’ measures like grades or graduation rates.
The current system has curricula set by bureaucrats (not free from special interest influence) hundreds, even thousands of miles away. It is not catered to the individual child; it is meant often to simply serve the lowest common denominator, to leave no child behind or insulted. The schools themselves have guaranteed revenue streams and a monopoly on customers since children are assigned by geographic region (and thus have no choice). And to further muck up the pudding, the unionization of teachers has protected bad teachers at the expense of good ones (and, ultimately, the students). There is no accountability to those most directly affected by performance: students and parents.
As I explained in a previous post, For a Free Market in Education:
Completely private education means that if one set of parents wants their children to learn a little bit of everything like they do now, they can. But if enough parents would prefer their children to learn about environmental accountability and social justice, the market will fill that demand (though not where I’d send my children). If another set wants to their children to be taught strictly from the Bible, done. If some children are better at math or creative writing or computer programming, let them go to a specialty school. Some children are just not built for typical all-encompassing curriculum, so let them learn the basics that could lead to a trade; instead of promoting the cycle of failure that leads kids to turn to crime since their exposure to ‘responsible society’ has been a fruitless source of frustration.
Let schools foster a love for self-taught knowledge instead of attempting to ace the test of a subject they will never bother with in life. There’s no need for beginner’s courses in every subject as if the student will one day master that subject. Schooling should be about making students wary of bad arguments and teaching them how to reason. Everything else is elective. And since no taxpayers would be on the hook for a penny, only the parents - and not the public at large or bureaucrats or union leaders - have a say.
The best schools will produce the best adults, and that’s where the parents will send their children. The bad schools will go out of business. The rich can already opt out of bad schools, so why not dismantle the infrastructure that keeps the poor from doing the same? With more money in the pockets of parents and individuals in general, quality of education will skyrocket. After all, the continued pumping of stolen public funds has produced flat results.
Because more money will be in the hands of individuals, private charity and religious non-profits will be better equipped to bridge the gap when the poor cannot afford schooling - something those charities and non-profits already do to a certain extent, and much more cheaply than government schools. Getting more bang for every education buck will naturally come about after increasing accountability of the educators, making the parents - and not the state - the consumer, and eliminating the public sector teachers unions that vote themselves more money and benefits to all members without necessarily earning it. Further, less taxes in general means more wealth in private hands which means more jobs and efficient investments which means fewer people in poverty.
It’s a win for students, a win for parents, a win for taxpayers, a win for the poor, a win for liberty, a win for good teachers and administrators, a win for society. The only losers are inept/harmful teachers and administrators, bureaucrats, and unions.
Additionally: tenure, in and of itself, is not stupid. It is merely a perk like any other that may be offered to attract better employees. It often serves a legitimate purpose to protect researchers and professors from administrative backlash for undesired or unpopular results or opinions. It can be a way to quarantine professors from outside pressure and promote impartiality. Impartial researchers and academics who engage in honest discourse are, in turn, more respected. More respected researchers and academics are naturally in higher demand, and a school with such researchers and academics would be more highly regarded. So offering tenure can be extremely crucial for some professors and schools. Tenure for kindergarten teachers, though, is probably unnecessary.
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- poissonmushroom said:Tenure promotes academic discourse and encourages honest, critical analysis of topics. It’s not unheard of to fire a professor for having unpopular views. But in the spirit of academic discourse and dialogue, tenure can be necessary.
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