Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thoughts on Teachers and Knuckleballs

I ran across a few interesting thoughts today, mostly on teachers and public employees. First, was this sarcastic sentiment from Thomas Friedman, whose latest column criticizes the current campaign of recycled bad ideas:

I confess I find it dispiriting to read the polls and see candidates, leading in various midterm races promoting many of the very same ideas that got us into this mess .... [Why don't we] kowtow even more to public service unions so they'll make even more money that the private sector workers, so they'll give even more money to Democrats who will give them even more generous pensions, so not only California and New York [and Illinois] will go bankrupt, but every other state, too.

Not what we normally hear from Friedman, and granted, much of the column dismissed the GOP's desire to recycle the same old policies of unpaid for tax cuts and economic policies. But a valid point nonetheless for anyone seriously worried about debt and deficits.

Additionally, a letter from to the Denver Post echoed a sentiment I've long had about this idea of "great teachers" and the mantra that we need a "great teacher" in every classroom. A wonderful utopian idea, but not very practical. Hell, we've all seen Stand & Deliver - how many truly great teachers like Jaime Escalante [and me :-)] are there? The letter finished with a joke: A factory owner was giving a tour of his plant and was asked, "How many people work here?" He replied, "about half."

Finally, a great baseball quote from Willie Stargel:

Throwing a knuckleball is like trying to throw a butterfly that has the hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox.

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