Utah’s Cache Valley is home to the city of Logan, and to Utah State University, the land-grant college for the state. For several humorous reasons, some of them good, the place sometimes is called Happy Valley.
Small county in a beautiful setting + good university with a good school of education = good conditions for teacher recruiting. Logan’s schools have been very good over the years, in academics and all forms of competition.
As we discovered with the voucher fiasco in 2007, Utah’s education situation is not completely happy any more. Classrooms are crowded, teachers are overworked, and for the first time since the Mormon pioneers first settled Utah, educational achievement is declining.
The editorial board at Logan’s Herald-Journal noticed the problems. It’s tough to recruit teachers. If Milton Friedman were alive, we’d look for a classic free-market economics solution, something like raising teacher pay to stop the exodus from the profession.
Milton Friedman is dead. His ghost doesn’t seem to have much clout in Logan, Utah, either. What does the Herald-Journal propose? Loosen standards, look for uncertified people to teach.
When people leave the job they worked hard to earn certification for, what will happen with people who are not certified and are untrained in classroom management?
Why not just raise teacher pay, and attract more well-trained teachers?
Let me ask the key question, more slowly this time so I’m sure it’s caught: Why not just raise teacher pay?
Fishing for teachers? Bait the hook with money.