Here in New York City
, where the high school drop-out rate
is over 50%, public school teachers
are paid less than most sanitation workers
. (I am not joking. Look it up.) Classes with between 30 and 50 kids to a teacher are not unusual.
The infrastructure is crumbling. A little over a year ago, a brick falling from a decaying school building fell, struck a young student on the head, and killed her.
Just think about that for a minute. In case you forgot, we were at the time enjoying the greatest economic prosperity seen in recent history - or that we are likely to see again for some time.
This is actually, believe it or not, just scratching the surface. There is a whole litany of abuses. The hiring and promotion standards, the assinine standardized tests... I could go on forever.
Let me explain something to you. Education is the single most important thing our government can engage in beyond matters of mortal necessity (i.e. war, police, firefighting, etc). Educators should have the same competitive environment that doctors and lawyers have. They should be highly trained and educated. They should fight over a shortage of lucrative positions.
I would gladly see teachers required to have a PhD equivalent in education, and paid $150,000 - $200,000 a year. I would say, however, that even superman will be unable to accomplish jack shit in a classroom with more than 8-10 children. Class sizes of 4-6 are the ideal.
If this means increasing the money we spend on education in this country 100 fold... so be it. It is money well spent. Education is the best investment any society could ever hope to have the opportunity to make. Crime, apathy, bad government, bad movies, bad driving, bad lovemaking (yes, there's a study)... one hundred pounds of law will not equal one ounce of education.