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May 29, 2006

Comments

Mike Huben

There you go again.

Sounds to me as if the private schools are administration-heavy, if they have that much time to spend interviewing. And your friend might find out that they tend to micromanage their teachers.

In public schools, there's a process of evaluating new teachers that determines whether they are retained or not, based on extensive observations (formal and informal.) Considering that such decisions are often for a 30+ year career, making them over a three year period for tenure gives the teacher a good chance to demonstrate his qualities, and the employers a good chance to evaluate him or her.

In private business, I've been hired at companies where I underwent full day interviews, and 15 minute interviews. It didn't make much difference.

Maybe your friend fits well into a clubby, cliquish atmosphere, in which case private schools might be right for him. But you notice that both the public and private schools had the sense to make him an offer. The public schools were just more efficient in deciding. Why waste time with guest teaching by a teacher with lengthy experience?

asg

Can it be doubted that if the words "public" and "private" were switched in the original post, Huben would be bloviating about how much more thorough and careful public schools, who after all are accountable to We the People, are, compared to those profit-obsessed country clubs known as private schools?

Like any other fanatic, Huben is pretty good at adapting any and all sets of propositions such that they suit his previously-revealed political prejudices. It's really amazing how there are no problem cases for Huben. No lighthouse problem for him, no way!

Incidentally, I suspect that if Huben were to go to the private charter school in Northeast DC I used to metro past twice a week, and inform them that theirs was a "clubby" and "cliquish" atmosphere, the students and teachers there would laugh pretty heartily in his face.

James

Huben,

What metric did you use to determine that all of that interviewing time was wasteful? I'm curious, what method did you use to estimate the marginal benefits and marginal costs of an hour interviewing a prospective hire? Was your error term normally distributed? Can I look at your data?

Mike Huben

James, I used the information provided by Miron, in case you didn't notice.

However, I do find it funny that you accept Miron's anecdotal process, but reject an analysis that shows opposite conclusions are possible from the same scanty data.

Asg, I think you need to look up the term psychological projection. Perhaps that's the way you operate, but not me.

Nope, what I was doing was countering a propaganda technique used by Miron (and Reagan and many others) of story telling to fit preconceived results without explicit conclusions. That technique frames the issues indirectly, getting all the bobbleheads like you nodding up and down because it confirms your prejudices. So I simply showed how applying similar prejudices of yours (such as a conflation of private with efficiency) leads to conlict between your own ideas.

Judging from the responses, libertarians prefer to resort to ad hominem rather than resolve the conflict.

Chris

Huben, so you admit to having an anti-freemarket prejudice?

James

Huben,

You never answer any of my questions. I'm beginning to think you dislike me.

"However, I do find it funny that you accept Miron's anecdotal process, but reject an analysis that shows opposite conclusions are possible from the same scanty data."

Tell your biographer what you find funny. You made the strong claim that all of the extra interviewing constituted wasting time. That requires a calculation of some sort regarding the relative costs and benefits of potential uses of time. Did our host make any claims requiring calculation?

"Judging from the responses, libertarians prefer to resort to ad hominem rather than resolve the conflict."

Like calling those that they disagree with propagandists?

Mike Huben

Chris, you need to look up psychological projection as well.

I'm not a mirror reflection of you. The world is more complicated than "pro market" and "anti market". Liberals from the days of Adam Smith (and probably earlier) have ALWAYS thought that markets should be used where they work well, and government where government works well.

Western societies have converged on fairly similar conclusions about what governments and markets do relatively well, based on extensive real-world experience.

Libertarian ideology dictates a preference for markets. More realistic people want a mixed economy.

Eric H

"Why waste time with guest teaching by a teacher with lengthy experience?"

That's quite a loaded question! It assumes that the experience is relevant and productive, that lengthy="qualified, knowledgeable, and stylistically relevant", and that any time spent on evaluating such things is necessarily wasted, while a lengthy three year tryout is not. I have had old teachers that droned on and were antimotivating, so I understand the point of spending time to avoid those types and find dynamic teachers whose style motivated students.

Also, one physics teacher cut three times "because of budget cuts"? When such teachers are said to be in such high demand that schools are offering bonuses? What are the odds? Given such background information, even if I liked the guy, I would have spent extra time checking my initial impressions (Blink? maybe when picking strawberry jam!), especially if I was intent on staffing a science department with the purpose of developing a clear competitive advantage in that area.

Such extra care is not necessarily indicative of waste, and making important decisions lightly is not necessarily indicative of efficiency. It may show the attitude of a monopolist/monopsonist who knows they're going to get students no matter what, and teachers no matter what, so why bother?

I'm not sure how you determined that the private schools would micromanage in a clubby, cliquish atmosphere, or how public schools manage to avoid both those problems. From what I understand, private school teachers report greater job satisfaction while public school teachers prefer to send their kids to private schools when they have the chance.

Chris

Mike, If you prefer to use markets where markets work and governments where they work yet insist, despite the mountains of evidence, that governments should provide education.

It seems to me that no matter what data you look at publicly funded schools come out on bottom. Public schools spend more for poorer results, the longer children spend in public schools the worse they get.

So with ample evidence that public schools are a terrible failure why the opposition to trying to let markets solve the problem?

Mike Huben

Eric, it's nice to see your skepticism. Now, if only you'd be equally skeptical towards Miron's anecdotes and his implications, I'd be impressed. As we both have demonstrated, a huge range of arguments and issues can be brought up. Miron's intended effect is scarcely the only conclusion. My argument was intended to show that: not to be the final word.

Chris, public schools do very nicely: you've been reading propaganda if you think otherwise. I have a section of my Critiques Of Libertarianism web site about this:
Public Schools, Education, and Vouchers.

Eric H

But why should I be so skeptical of an anecdote? It is after all only an anecdote! If he had presented a long argument, that might be a different story, but this was just an anecdote that could be spun just about any way you please.

I also forgot to say that in interviews I believe that it is equally important for the interviewee to get to know the place of business. You don't want to waste the time interviewing, hiring, and training only for *them* to realize they hate the environment. He mentioned this, but nobody keyed on it.

I am also very disappointed in the entire public school apparatus because of recent experiences with it from an employer's standpoint. I keep running into people who are not qualified for, and even state a dislike for teaching, math and science, but the schools keep shoving them into those positions. The result appears to be (at the other end) a dislike or disdain for math and science. Something needs to be changed, but that is not apparent to those within the system.

Chris

"Chris, public schools do very nicely: you've been reading propaganda if you think otherwise. I have a section of my Critiques Of Libertarianism web site about this:"

The longer students stay in public schools the worse they do when compared to students in private schools and internationally. Do you refute this claim?

Eric H

Mike;

Most of the links on your site are broken.

Mitchell

I have a problem where I work. There is a nasty habit of hiring Administrators who just retire from that position right back in that position. Sure, the district opens the position up to the public and does interiew people for the position but everyone who works there already knows who is getting the position. I frankly see this as illegal since the school recieves federal tax dollars and should honestly open all positions for the best qualified not the most politically corect friend who just retired from that very position!What do you think?

Terrance

You Guys:

You are comparing Apples to Oranges. Public and Private schools have different methods of selection because they serve very different types of consumer.

Personalized Pens

At a glance, the length of interviews may make a difference to what? to make sure the person fits the position or because there is a long queue of applicants?

I mean, the it is a matter of evaluating the person accurately and making sure he/she is capable of carrying the responsibilities.

Naruto

All I can say, Jeffrey's friend did not even specify exactly what kind of tests, therefore a conclusive end is hard to arrive at.

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All I can say, Jeffrey's friend did not even specify exactly what kind of tests, therefore a conclusive end is hard to arrive at.

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