But what about the children?

Ellen Bernstein of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation was in the Albuquerque Journal today railing on against balancing the budget by cutting education.

The funny thing about the article is that she really doesn’t offer any specifics as to how cutting education spending will actually affect student performance and harm New Mexico’s education outcomes? Of course, I’d hate to have to argue her point because up until the current financial crisis, real per-pupil education spending has doubled with little in the way of results to show for the increased spending.

Instead, Bernstein focuses on the economic harm that cuts in teacher salaries will have on teachers. She fails to mention that the rest of us are facing cutbacks and poor economic growth.

Of course, as Dr. Ladner pointed out last week, there is a path forward to real education reform and improved results, without increasing overall spending. Among Ladner’s more salient points is that increased class sizes are not really harmful. In fact, if we are able to weed out the least effective teachers and put those kids in the classrooms of the most effective teachers — even if we double their class sizes — education results and overall learning will improve. Unfortunately, as liberal columnist Leonard Pitts points out, the unions have been fighting against such accountability for years and show few signs of relenting, even with Barack Obama in the White House.

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2 Replies to “But what about the children?”

  1. The union leaders need to go down to the state Manpower office and hang out a while. Then go home and give thanks

  2. I’d like to see some data that has been missing from this debate so far. What has been the trend of teacher hiring in the past five years, and how has this tracked with enrollment? What’s the ratio of classroom personnel (teachers & aides) and how has this changed in recent years? And how much can APS save by contracting-out support services such as custodians, building maintenance, etc.?

    Is anybody researching this?

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