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.