Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

LttE - What's good for the goose....

Submitted to the San Antonio Express-News on 23 May 2007:

Heather and Tyler Smurr’s letter on Saturday the 19th decrying the legislature’s decision on teacher pay raises made an excellent point about the relationship between teacher pay and the desire of teachers to work at public schools: “Texas doesn’t want the best teachers … Who wants to work for a state that doesn’t want to pay you anything?” They’re absolutely right: pay scales are one way (perhaps the most important way) that businesses compete for employees in the free labor market that we’re blessed to have in this country. The good news for teachers is that they can take their expertise and labor and bring it with them to another educational institution where they’ll be paid more.

Now consider Michelle Martinez’s article from Thursday the 17th highlighting charter schools and the way they offer varied curriculums in order to compete (there’s that word again) for students. Some students will want what those charter schools are offering more than they want what their normally-assigned district schools are offering, and they’ll decide to go there instead. The good news for those students is that they can take the tax money that pays for their education and bring it with them to their new school where they’ll get the education they want.

With these two stellar examples of how free-market competition continually makes things better, it’s beyond unfortunate that the choice afforded to teachers to choose who benefits from their labor and the choice afforded to charter school students to choose who benefits from their tax dollars is vehemently denied to those students who want to take their tax dollars to other schools who are offering curricula that are different still from the very limited number of charter schools in operation. When will we take our blinders off regarding school choice and recognize that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander?

UPDATE: Printed


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