Teacher Death Panels and Whoring For Dollars

The  NY Times has a good look at the thought process going on around the country as school districts get ready to professionally Exacto knife their way back to financial equilibrium.  NYC has to cut up to 8,500 positions, and that’s just the largest number in a countrywide purge. APS is still figuring out what the numbers will be here, but it’s almost certainly above the level of natural attrition.  So what do you do?

  • First in, first out?
  • Start a “real” process of weeding out the bad ones?
  • Soylent Green is People!!!; i.e., lop off a bunch of the old-timers via incentives to retirement/early retirement?
  • Implode the APS “Twin Towers”, turning the site into a memorial to bureaucracy?

And while that thought process grinds on, everyone in public education is provocatively posing in windows along the educational streets of Amsterdam, trying to lure federal dollars through use of risque attire (union acceptance of tying test scores to teacher pay) and titillating come-hither looks (reconfiguring District/State policy to reflect “Race to the Top” guidelines).

All around…a disgraceful display.  Times like these ALMOST have me pining for the Pinkertons and Block Grants.  Especially the block grants.   But no, there has to be a middle ground between complete union busting and no Federal oversight of public education and obstructionist, spiteful unions and complete Federal control of public education.

I just don’t know if economic times like these are the best spot for a lengthy contemplation of Federalism and the proper balance of national control and States’ Rights.  Not to mention a Civil War.  It’s an exciting time for public education, granted…in that Tale of Two Cities crowds at the guillotine sort of way.

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