I have not studied the education system, but from cursory outside observation it is grossly apparent that reform is needed up and down the spectrum. (Perhaps I too often wield my free market “hammer”, but the education system would likely benefit from a bout of free market-based reform.) For starters, teachers could begin by taking a long, hard look in the mirror.
Confident in their rising influence on the back of the 2018 “Blue Wave” that has begun to crest, The New York Times ran an above-the-fold front pager today on the “poorly” paid teachers in Oklahoma. It is really disgusting, and an insult to those living on median wages.
The article begins by bemoaning the lack of wage growth, outlining the fight to save pensions, and how Republicans are evil for not raising taxes to fund higher education spending. It takes 22 paragraphs until the following is mentioned (my underline):
“Teachers in Oklahoma earn $45,000 a year on average, the third-lowest in the country; only those in Mississippi and South Dakota earn less, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. They are doing better, though, than many workers in Oklahoma, which has the third-lowest cost of living and where the average teacher salary is about equal to the median household income.”
In other words, teachers, who do not exactly require a doctorate-level education and get the ENTIRE SUMMER OFF, make the exact same on average as someone that works the entire year. Honestly, you cannot make it up.
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This article is indicative of a really disturbing lack of objective policy analysis in American politics. For now more than a year the Trump Administration has enacted one of the most economic growth- and jobs-friendly agendas in modern American history, yet there is a rather large “Blue Wave” starting to form almost purely as a result of anti-Trump hysteria.
Now, if this so-called wave happens to result in a large-scale contingent of Conor Lamb- and Adam Cote-like (Cote is a Maine Democratic candidate for governor) candidates being swept into Congress, I am all for it. (In other words, if it was possible to replace Trump with an exact policy replica but with normal behavior, I am all in.) Democrats appear to be moving down the path of attitudinal reform by supporting the pro life & gun Lamb, but they have serious work to do on the policy side, as vehement opposition to a large-scale tax cut & reform bill that Democrats of yore would have supported is not the way to win back “Trump Democrats” in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
For now, the weight of the evidence suggests a policy-less anti-Trump wave of hyperventilation.