A reader writes:
I am responding to your reader who wrote a thoughtful piece about inflation and K-12 education. When she writes that “productivity” is about increasing output, she defines “output” as number of graduates per unit of cost. This is where she misses the point entirely. “Productivity” is not just about increasing the number of graduates or reducing costs; it is also about increasing quality. While she touches upon some of the new services that schools provide today, she seems to be blind to the fact that increasing productivity in education is also about making kids smarter when they graduate. Doing this without spending more money is the essence of productivity. How can this be done? By better management measurement of student progress and linking this progress to the efforts of their teachers and administrators. Holding teachers and administrators accountable for this kind of “productivity” has always been anathema in academia. And your reader proved it once again.