Arnold Kling  

Workers Usurp the Means of Production

Answer to Trivia Question... Return to Solipsism...

The New York Times reports,

Today, Mr. Lee and five other teachers -- all veterans of Teach for America, a corps of college graduates who undergo five weeks of training and make a two-year commitment to teaching -- are running a public school here with 650 children from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Naturally, their erstwhile oppressors doubt that this can work.

They say that most teachers have neither the time nor the expertise to deal with the inner workings of a school, like paying bills, conducting fire drills and refereeing faculty disputes.

In general, I agree with the skeptics that cooperative worker management is not a good idea. However, government management is not a good idea, either.

Eventually, if enough teachers usurp the means of production from government-run schools, then I think that some of the teacher-run schools will experiment with hiring professional managers. That would be an indirect path to competitive markets in education.

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COMMENTS (2 to date)
John Thacker writes:

In my experience, public school teachers in the classroom often complain a lot about all the spending on management (though many try also to capture those plum positions for themselves, too.) Yet despite arguing that all that management is inefficient, most seem to continue to oppose attempts to introduce competition. It seems to me that if they're correct, then competition would reduce management. Perhaps they don't have the courage of their convictions.

Steve Sailer writes:

An awful lot of teachers eventually go into some kind of educational management job where they sit down most of the day and only have to deal with other grown-ups in child-free offices. Being on your feet dealing with other people's children sounds good for awhile, but it gets old. And there's no promotion possibilities if you stay in the classroom.

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