I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Accountability For Thee, But Not For Me

Whitney Tilson - Wall Street maven and part-time corporate education reformer - says it's imperative to fire bad teachers, even if good teachers are fired in an inaccurate process:
I don't know this teacher of course – maybe the Impact system did evaluate her unfairly, which raises an important question: no system is perfect – this is why I oppose the death penalty, because I'm not willing to accept even 1 innocent person being executed for every 99 guilty people who are – so what error rate are we willing to accept?  In the case of the ultimate penalty, I won't accept even a 1% error rate, but I'm certainly willing to accept getting rid of 99 horrible teachers, even if I knew that 1 good teacher would be unfairly fired.  I'd feel badly about that teacher, but he/she could surely get another job, if he/she is a good teacher – and even if this wasn't the case, the good for students of removing 99 horrible teachers far outweighs in my mind that harm to 1 teacher.  But what if the error rate were 5%?  10%?  20%?
Remember: Whitney Tilson runs a hedge fund. How's it doing?
When at first you cover a soaring knife near its all time high, try, try again to catch it on the way down. And if you are Whitney Tilson, this is precisely what you do. The fund which is now down 25% YTD has lost 21.4% on its second round Netflix investment, something which Zero Hedge readers were on the other side of for the entire 50% pick in one month. But heaven forbid you learn a lesson: "A couple of weeks ago we sent you an article we published entitled “Why We’re Long Netflix and Short Green Mountain Coffee Roasters,” which is attached in Appendix B. Since then, both stocks have moved against us, making them even more attractive in our opinion." Lordy...
If Wall Street was run like Whitney wants to run schools, he'd be out on his ass - even though Whitney thanks his investors for their "continued confidence."

The titans of the business world keep telling us teachers that we have to run schools more like they run the private sector. What a disaster it would be if we did.

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