13.1.06

DEPRESSING. John Stossel's Stupid in America on ABS's 20/20 has just ended. He's written a brief synopsis for Reason. That synopsis mentions New York's "rubber rooms," a facility for teachers insufficiently competent to teach but insufficiently incompetent to fire. Mr Stossel shows a rather complicated flowchart a principal must work through to justify firing a teacher. It's probably easier to canonize a saint. But one wonders about the emptiness of some peoples' lives ... evidently the teachers exiled to the rubber rooms are content to play cards or just hang out all day rather than find something more productive to do. The show also revealed something I was not aware of ... school choice in Belgium, complete with vouchers good in parochial schools. A market in elementary education services, hard by the headquarters of the European Union, forsooth! Mr Stossel could have done more about the manifestation of choice in the United States, namely the test-score premium that explains much of the variation in otherwise identical houses in various parts of the country.

RUNNING EXTRA. Company Mail source Blogs for Industry reviews the broadcast.

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