- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Pay gap

“Who, on average, is better paid — public school teachers or architects? How about teachers or economists? You might be surprised to learn that public school teachers are better paid than these and many other professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school teachers earned $34.06 per hour in 2005, 36 percent more than the hourly wage of the average white-collar worker. …

“In the popular imagination, however, public school teachers are underpaid. ‘Salaries are too low. We all know that,’ noted First Lady Laura Bush, expressing the consensus view. ‘We need to figure out a way to pay teachers more.’ …

“[H]igher teacher pay seems to have no effect on raising student achievement. Metropolitan areas with higher teacher pay do not graduate a higher percentage of their students than areas with lower teacher pay.

“In fact, the urban areas with the highest teacher pay are famous for their abysmal outcomes. Metro Detroit leads the nation, paying its public school teachers, on average, $47.28 per hour. … In metro New York, public school teachers make $45.79 per hour. … And in Los Angeles teachers earn $44.03 per hour, 23 percent higher than other professionals in the area.”

— Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters, writing on “$34.06 an Hour,” in Opinion Journal at www.opinion journal.com

Frozen image

“A few summers ago, we met three German medical students, who visited friends of ours at a summer cottage on the north shore of Massachusetts. After-dinner conversation turned to cultural topics. I recounted an anecdote told [to] me by a female Baptist minister, originally from Alabama, now living in Boston, who had met a black man on a bus. The black man, who was also from Alabama, was drawn to her by her accent, and complained that Boston was a racially chilly city, that he missed the easy ways blacks and whites got along down South.

“This anecdote caused an absolute explosion of fury in our summer conversation. It could not be true. Alabama? Bull Conner, fire hoses, police dogs? No, no African-American could possibly express fondness for Alabama. One of the med students, Indian by background, but now thoroughly assimilated to Germany, began a tirade of condemnation of race relations in the United States, a condemnation more suited to the conditions of the Jim Crow 1950s than the 21st century. His impression of us was frozen in the images of brutal old black and white newsreels.”

— Lawrence Henry, writing on “Hating America,” Friday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

‘Subversive show’

“The most subversive show in the U.S. hides in plain sight: it’s ‘24,’ on Fox. …

“The new season features radical Muslims as the bad guys. Not Presbyterians. Not animists. Not Shintoists. Not Buddhists. Not Seventh-day Adventists. Not Rosicrucians. No, the characters fighting the U.S. have thick Arabic or African accents, and they have no compunction about killing children, the unarmed, the innocent, the unsuspecting. …

“In the real world, of course, there are no Jack Bauers as such. There are only hard-working cops and federal agents patrolling and doing forensics, hoping to forestall catastrophe. But they don’t make for exciting television, and when they’re interviewed on network and cable news, they’re as politically correct as a university.

” ‘24’ doesn’t need to be. And its ratings are off the charts — something that the presidential candidates ought to keep in mind, come ‘08.”

— Stefan Kanfer, writing on “Four Stars for ‘24,’ ” in City Journal Online at www. city-journal.org

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