The Rev's easybake new school reform recipe/brainstorm:
LOWER CLASS SIZE (to ~ 1:15 ratio);
GIVE INSTRUCTOR RAISES TO PUT SALARIES IN COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SCHOOLS (and actually build schools that COMPETE with private schools and use economics of supply/demand to put them out of business);
GIVE TEACHERS FREEDOM to RUN EDUCATION... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFj…
DROP STUDENT TESTING DOWN TO 3 PER SCHOOL CAREER (grade, middle and high)...(but institute principal and administrator testing for job evals);
TEACH 'LEARNING' + 'INQUIRY SKILLS' ( rather than just ANSWERS + SUBJECTS);
oh, and LOWER CLASS SIZE
@31: yes, pay can attract better workers. but workers do better and increase innovation when they are given total freedom to create + LESS 'managing'. BETTER, EVEN, THAN GIVING THEM outrageous RAISES.
see also Dan Pink's RSA talk on "What Motivates" and the MIT study here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFj…
aside: slog is something which must be filled
@12: add also; Year after year, teacher unions ask for ONE THING: smaller class size. Listen to the teachers!**
@32: If fairness/financial equity is paramount, redraw the districts then, like congress.
@35: word. Bad and good WORKERS exist in any organization, regardles of industry (Gov however seems especially good at gathering in their top ranks more of the latter).
@thatsnotright: isn't that quote a question posed to Batman from the Riddler?
@Fnarf: Name one american cell phone battery FACTORY and I'll name a battery engineer. =)
@5 get rid of the tests - problem solved.
@60/65: you seriously think a teacher's duties are limited to 7.5 - 10 hrs /day for only the mandated 180 school days? I don't know these teachers. in SPS, ISD, LWSD, etc 40% additional time is typical (12+ hrs/day for 180days or 6 day workweek), and CE eats up an average of 3 to 5 weeks of the 'summer break'. The "summers off" lazy teacher is as rare and inaccurate as the '100% Bootstraps Student' meme.
...Doubling the number of teachers in the union scares somebody, I guess.