It ain't good. Some key takeaway points:
- Making teachers less accountable leads to worse schools.
- Ignoring the fact that merit pay works (via the Economist article) when formulating education policy leads to worse schools.
- Grade inflation in the evaluation of teachers leads to worse schools.
- Socioeconomic conditions may have something to do with the poor state of Chicago schools, but there are plenty of cities facing similar socioeconomic challenges, and yet, the kids in those cities are outperforming public school students in Chicago.
- Families--who aren't stupid, after all--are voting with their feet in unprecedented numbers, leaving Chicago for the suburbs, taking talented students with them, and giving up on the city and its public school system.
And of course, the Chicago teachers' strike is ongoing, which makes none of these conditions any better. Some wonder why people like me think that the teachers' unions and all of the people involved in the Chicago teachers' strike are doing more than any school choice advocate ever could to show why choice is so desperately needed to save our education system. They need wonder no more.