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Subject:  Don't need no more stinkin' teachers Date:  10/9/2012  4:37 PM
Author:  fleg9bo Number:  647927 of 876057

For decades we have tried to boost academic outcomes by hiring more teachers, and we have essentially nothing to show for it. In 1970, public schools employed one for every 22.3 students. In 2012, we have one for every 15.2 students.

Yet math and reading scores for 17-year-olds have remained virtually unchanged since 1970. The federal estimate of high-school graduation rates also shows no progress. Unless the next teacher-hiring binge produces something that the last several couldn't, there is no reason to expect it to contribute to student outcomes.

Most people expect that more individualized attention from teachers should help students learn. The problem is that expanding the number of hires means dipping deeper into the potential teacher labor pool. That means additional teachers are likely to be weaker than current ones.

Same reason baseball is so dull today -- the expansion teams diluted the talent. Oh, wait -- baseball has always been dull.

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