Editor, Daily Nexus,
This letter is in response to Brent Robinson’s article (“Nexus Should Not Be Ignorants’ Home,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 18.) Robinson asserts that the UC system has difficulty attracting faculty over private institutions “because the UC, being a public institution, is often unable to provide potential candidates with the kind of income or benefits a private institution can offer to its faculty.” To begin with, Robinson does not discuss the difference between teacher benefits in elementary and secondary schools. Governor Schwarzenegger’s Proposition 74 focused on elementary and secondary school teachers, as did Colin Marshall’s article (“Teachers’ Salaries Make Cents,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 17), which Robinson confidently criticized. Elementary and secondary schools are where the real battle exists, as these public institutions are failing all over the nation.
The salaries of public school teachers are indeed higher than those of their private school counterparts. The epidemic that exists in America’s public school system results primarily from inefficient administrative methods and not from poor teacher benefits. According to The Public Purpose, salaries for public school teachers average 64 percent higher than those of all private school teachers and 22 percent higher than the salaries of teachers in elite private schools. Also, private school costs were 30.1 percent less than public school costs.
As an alumnus of private elementary and high schools, I have seen teachers suspended and fired for very minor offenses. No extensive tenure system exists in the private school system and this results in more proper teacher behavior, more efficient teaching methods and better test scores.
Robinson also goes on to say that the parents of private school students “whore themselves out to corporate America” to pay for their children’s education. My parents were your average, hard-working middle-class people who drove used cars and gave up things like big family vacations and cable TV to pay for my education. It would be nice if Robinson could simply Google some basic statistics and do some basic research before he takes such an adamant stand on something he obviously knows little about.