-Pittsburgh has found a unique solution to their budget woes. They want to charge a 1% college education privilege tax on all tuition bills. Yes, you read that right -- all college students in the city of Pittsburgh (and there are a lot of them) would pay an additional 1% on top of their tuition bills for the privilege of receiving an education there. The proposal does actually solve a problem -- an inordinately high percentage of property in Pittsburgh is occupied by non-profit institutions (mostly hospitals and colleges/universities), robbing them of quite a bit of tax revenue.
-Jay Mathews suggests we should scrap rating teachers and rate schools instead. His argument is mainly that rating teachers is a waste of time since they all get positive reviews anyway. I sort of buy that argument, though I think there are stronger ones. And I think there are a ton of good reasons why incentivizing whole schools may work better than incentivizing individual teachers.
-Ruben Navarette regurgitates all the typical talking points on CNN's website. I have trouble taking any analysis seriously when its central thesis is that teachers are lazy, incompetent, and self-serving. There are all sorts of rational reasons for teachers to behave the way they do, and tons of good, passionate teachers out there. As such, reforms based on this premise usually fail to transform schools, and analyses based on this premise are inevitably short-sighted.
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