Anyone who knows the basic outline of the teacher pension problem understands that the public schools aren’t good at math. The arithmetic of the pension funds proves the adults within the system don’t know how to do math, and news articles like the following confirm that they don’t know how to teach it either:
Solving America’s Mathematics Education Problem
American students test poorly in mathematics compared to those in other developed — and in some cases, less developed — countries. However, math skills are crucial for the United States to remain competitive with the 21st century economy, says Jacob L. Vigdor, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor of public policy and economics at Duke University. Continue reading…
From the Heritage Foundation:
[T]he proportion of new college graduates who majored in math-intensive subjects has declined by nearly half over the past sixty years. Stated succinctly, the root of the problem is an excessive emphasis on equality in curriculum. Given the inherent variability in students’ math aptitude, equity can be achieved only by delivering a suboptimal education to at least some students. Continue reading…
Illinois state Senator Kyle McCarter, to his credit, has introduced the only serious reform measure in the General Assembly. You can read about it here. The only problem is that the bill doesn’t get to the real heart of the problem, which is that teacher unions with the help of school boards have created a completely immoral and unfair system. It’s not just that the math doesn’t work, it’s that the number of exorbitant pensions proves that the unfairness to taxpayers is the real problem that needs to be fixed. The only way to do that is to get government at all levels out of the pension business.
The only genuine reform is to sever the pension funds from the taxpayers. Public employees should be made to grow up and take responsibility for their own retirement. Social Security is a big enough problem; the country can’t afford a two-class system where those who worked for the taxpayers enjoy a better retirement than the taxpayers themselves.
Bill Zettler’s work on the Illinois public pension debacle is rivaled by no one. Lately, the Illinois Policy Institute has begun to supplement Bill’s work through research of their own. What it comes down to is that the public pension systems are dependent upon yet unborn taxpayers to meet their fantasy obligations. That’s idiotic and immoral, and all the proof you need that mathematics isn’t a strong suit of the public school system.
And as I’m sure you’re aware, Illinois is not unique when it comes to this issue. Just one of innumerable articles on the topic can be read here.