5 thoughts on “Why Johnny Can’t Read

  1. Where in the abstract does it say “an epic misallocation of resources?” exactly? What I saw was it says that states which have stronger teacher’s unions spend funds more on teacher pay raises, while those with weaker unions instead spend it on teacher hiring. Maybe it’s in one of the abstracts I didn’t read. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but I didn’t see that at all. I did see the word “misallocation” but that seemed to be based on their own opinion that paying teachers more was worse than hiring new teachers. Turnover in teaching ranks very often correlates to poor pay – poor pay often correlates strongly to poor teacher (and student) performance.

    This is born out by the reality that states with stronger teacher unions ALSO have, in the main, the best educational performance, so not clear how the teacher union is causing Johnny not to read. That conclusion is entirely your fabrication and doesn’t align to fact.

    The larger point is this Mitch, you righties talk about being representatives of the “common man”, sometimes you call yourself a working “schulb” as I recall, yet you engage in supporting tactics of attacking the working man, of efforts to increase working man’s pay, and the like. You wind up being the pawn of the corporate barons by aiding their attacks on labor generally. This country, in fact Trump himself used this point to get elected, namely that the US has been defined over the past 17 years by the frustrations of flat pay for workers while the wealthiest prosper almost infinitely. Trump backstabbed workers with this hand-out to the rich, and rather, apparently, than bitching about yet another shift of tax burden which will not result in any real improvement in pay, you spend your time attacking labor by bootstrapping a conclusion that the reports did not make. If strong unions lead to poor outcomes, why is it, by and large, the strongest union states have the best general outcomes and those with the weakest unions have the worst outcomes, misallocation or otherwise?

  2. Sifting through the other abstracts, the impact Cornell University points to is a Long-term effect of $800/year and .5 hours per week in reduced earnings /work time in markets with stronger collective bargaining.

    Cornell did NOT speak to whether there were other factors modifying that outcome. I’m not saying they failed to normalize, but how do you normalize the fact that we are losing job opportunities in rust-belt states? Bottom line Mitch, their conclusions were NOTHING like that stronger unions lead to Johny not being able to read, that’s just blatantly false hyperbole. The conclusion was that it appears there’s some correlation between stronger unions and slightly lower pay.

    By contrast, Cornell didn’t in any way speak to the fact that there are generally BETTER student performances on standardized and college entrance tests in states with better teacher pay, including in states which have teacher unions as compared to those which have weaker or worse, no unions.

    Long and short, they failed to speak to educational OUTCOME, the point you were trying to make regarding Johnny reading – they solely spoke to economic trends. Not the point you made at all and further may well be due to factors like general manufacturing loss in blue states vs. lower loss in red states because red states by and large didn’t have as much manufacturing labor. Oh, I’m sure that’s not it, is it?

  3. I published this paper 16 years ago…it was part of my platform for SPPS board election. They know; don’t care.

  4. Or they couldn’t read it, Swiftee. Remember the brouhaha last year about how a fairly significant portion of teachers in New York, especially minority teachers, couldn’t pass a basic English test? And then the story got better, because some columnists got a hold of the test and figured out that the test questions had multiple correct answers.

    In other words, not only could teachers not pass the basic literacy test, but their professors couldn’t write a basic literacy test. Like the old proverb goes, “those that can’t teach, teach teachers.”

  5. Pen, if indeed stronger teachers’ unions lead to paying teachers a lot more–well above the market rate–then strong teachers’ unions do indeed lead to a mis-allocation of resources, ipso facto. The other paper documents that collective bargaining worsens outcomes for male teachers while doing nothing to improve outcomes for female teachers.

    Apparently you’ve got the same reading instruction as many New York state teachers!

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