Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This just in: The pill caused public education to fail

Yeah, that's seriously what the authors of "SuperFreakonomics" conclude:
Another unintended consequence of the women's liberation movement has been the deterioration in the education system - mainly the availability of the best teachers.

"Now if Alley [high-end prostitute featured in the segment] does ever have a daughter, chances are a private education will provide her best hope for a good life," Weir said. "Because, much like prostitution, America's education system has been split into two markets - the haves and the have-nots. At the bottom are mostly public schools, horribly broken since the ‘70s. Once again, Levitt and Dubner chalk it up to empowerment of women and the one invention that gave them more control over their professional destiny - the birth control pill."

And because of birth control, women were able to take on other professions besides teaching.

"Before the pill, women were not able to make the investments to be doctors and lawyers," Levitt said. "Instead they would find career tracks that would allow them to get in and out of the labor force."

"A lot of the best and brightest women stopped becoming school teachers in order to become bankers, lawyers and doctors," Dubner added. "As a result, the overall talent level of school teachers in this country began to fall quite precipitously."
Logic, I miss you.

Yes, I do realize I'm using NewsBusters as a source. It will probably be the first and last time that happens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is nothing illogical about this. The authors are arguing that the female teacher talent pool is depleted because women are choosing different paths, which the women's liberation movement (and partially birth control) made possible. They are not blaming birth control for ruining education ("unintended consequence"). They are pointing out causal events that led to the weakened education system. The female talent pool has shifted from teaching to a wider spectrum of job choices. Not all women want to be teachers, but that profession has always been accomodating to a woman who was running a household, whereas being a lawyer, banker, doctor, was/is not.


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