A Pet Peeve

Forgive this tangent, but I wanted to get something off my chest.  I was just reading an article about the relative ineffectiveness of automatic pay increases for teachers with masters degrees.  It’s an important issue affecting millions of professionals, and not to mention state and local budgets in a time of economic distress.  In other words, an issue that has education, economic, employment, and political ramifications.  But in the middle of the article, we get this:

“Even in states where teacher pay is set by the school district according to market factors, the pay schedule has been the same way for many decades … Debating a change could be more controversial and unpopular than cutting chocolate milk from the school cafeteria menu.”

Maybe I’m overreacting, but stuff like this can signal a real lack of seriousness about education policy issues.  Regular readers know that I’m a big fan of the tongue-in-cheek, so I’m not trying to be hypocritical.  But come on, “chocolate milk?”  Education policy decisions have spending ramifications in the billions, and yet we tend to frame the adult policy issues in terms of the childhood experience.  The more appropriate analogues are other large public expenditures, like the military and healthcare.  I’m sure whoever wrote this for the AP wasn’t expecting such an extreme reaction, but that’s part of the point.

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