Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ideas are great but...

... you've got to provide some supporting evidence. I generally like reading about the ideas proposed in the City Journal and, for the most part, they're usually well thought out. But this article goes into a whole separate ball game when the author (Thomas Carroll) criticizes the NY education system and then only offers a series of weak solutions.

Here's a big, rambling example with my comments in brackets:

Additionally, New York needs to expand parent-choice options much more dramatically than Spitzer was able to in the recent legislative session. Doubling the number of charter schools sounds nice, but it means just 100 more of them—which is trivial in a state the size of New York [trivial? and how much will this cost?]. Hundreds of thousands of New York children are currently attending schools officially designated as failing. Mayors in Gotham and other large cities in New York should have the authority to issue an unlimited number of charters, so that these kids have alternatives [again, how much will this half-thought out idea cost?]. Statewide, parents should receive an education tax credit that lets them send their children to the private or public schools of their choice [once more, how much will this cost?].

So while the ideas are "nice" there's no supporting evidence of whether they'll "work" and (perhaps more importantly) of the general economic consequences of the ideas. It's not like this article will stop me from reading the normally excellent City Journal - and I encourage you to take a look through their website because most of their other articles are very good and thought provoking.