Friday, July 17, 2009

Competitive Education

According to the Argus Leader, teacher firing is a rare event in the Sioux Falls school district.

Teaching is one of the noblest professions, and Sioux Falls has a teaching staff with some of the best qualifications (69% of educators have a master’s degree or higher according to the article). Many of our educators deserve the tenured positions they enjoy, and perhaps even a pay raise.

Considering that the United States is lagging behind the rest of the world in education, even though it spends more than nearly every other country in primary and secondary education, perhaps it may be time to re-evaluate our education structure.

If we were to treat education like we would treat a successful business, it only makes sense that we would let ineffectual and under-performing employees go. In the case of education, this is even more important, in that the goal is not simply business profits, but the education and futures of our youth.

A more business-like structure in education that pays and employs educators according to their merits and abilities would allow us to maximize the education dollars we have, reward our thousands of excellent teachers with higher wages and benefits, as well as giving us the ability to make enticing offers for highly-qualified new hires. A refined education structure, as well as measures such as merit-based tenure like the Department of Education supported two years ago could make great strides to better public education for South Dakota’s talented youth.

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