Teacher Quality and Education Structures

Education for Everyone

The currently popular mantra (among politicians) that “an education system”, or even a “school”, “cannot be better than the teachers it employs” is vacuous. On the other hand it is not meaningless. Even rank nonsense, and this merits consideration for that title, can derive meaning from the way in which it is used.

If we don’t think about it, the mantra appeals to a common sense notion that the parts of a structure/system can impose a limit to its overall functioning. Famously, the US space shuttle The Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after lift off. The whole complex system failed because of its O-ring seals which failed. QED? Not really.

In the early days of computing, when computers were so large that one could walk around inside them, Westinghouse would hand wire cutters to visitors on a tour with an invitation to snip some wires at random. The point of the…

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