Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Obviously the Onion is releasing news under different names

Because, otherwise, this makes no sense at all:
There is no profession anywhere in the country that has such astonishing rules. Good lord-- even if your manager at McDonalds decides you're not up to snuff, he doesn't blackball you from ever working in any fast food joint ever again! Yes, every profession has means of defrocking people who commit egregious and unpardonable offenses. But-- and I'm going to repeat this because I'm afraid your This Can't Be Real filter is keeping you from seeing the words that I'm typing-- Massachusetts proposes to take your license to teach away if you have a couple of low evaluations.

One version of the plan even allows for factoring in student evaluations of teachers; yes, teachers, your entire career can be hanging by a thread that dangles in front of an eight-year-old with scissors.
Wow.  Isn't it a good thing that we are sure that this power will not be abused?   I wish I could get Mark to give a perspective on this one, as I think it would have major implications. 

Obviously this sort of scheme would only be workable for major offenses or where the barriers to entry to the profession are exceptionally low.  Adam Smith pointed out that the less security that you give workers, the more expensive they get (for the same quality of worker).  Now removing teacher tenure might or might not be a huge blow depending on the employment regulations in a state.  There are professions (e.g. hedge fund trader) where people can move around a lot during a career.  Teaching isn't well set up for this, but one can at least imagine making it work.

But losing one's license for bad test scores is a massive penalty.  Heck, is it even the case that you'd lose a teaching license (as opposed to merely being fired) for tampering with the tests?  Think carefully because employees will be able to work this one out . . . 

H/T: Mike

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