Schools of thought on looming teacher layoffs

White House economic adviser Christina D. Romer tells us ["Keeping teachers in the classroom," op-ed, May 28] that by “preventing layoffs we would save on unemployment insurance payments, food stamps and COBRA subsidies . . . and we would maintain tax revenues.”

So much for productivity in the education system or anywhere in government. A less politically compromised chief economist might note that test scores have stagnated while school systems have stuffed themselves with education-school graduates to reduce class sizes; that a closed shop excludes liberal arts graduates from the teaching force; that union contracts prevent the use of parent volunteers in schools; and that the public school establishment has been totally uninterested in distance learning and the opportunities it affords for parental involvement.

George W. Liebmann, Baltimore

The writer is the volunteer executive director of the Calvert Institute for Policy Research in Baltimore.

Posted in: Education, News Series