In the myriad of information currently being thrown about the internet, one particular concept seemed to make a lot of sense to me. After thinking about it, however, I feel that we could use this same concept in other (perhaps all) areas of our government employment to insure quality without a dramatic increase in overall cost.
The concept presented was to increase the wages of teachers while simultaneously and proportionally decreasing the salaries of their administrators. Yes, the administrators would still have a higher salary, however, the gap would not be as great. This could have a dramatic effect on the quality of teachers and achievable levels of public education.
If we also applied this same concept to the salary structures of other government officials and workers, we could probably retain more qualified employees for longer periods of time. For instance, we could apply this to the Police department and increase the salaries of those walking the beat. With an increased salary they would more likely want to retain their position and also do a better job at it as well. Postal workers would be yet another agency where salary redistribution could benefit the whole organization.
Another more obscure area where this redistribution method could be used in again in our public education system. As nearly all employment requires a certain minimum level of education and the more common jobs require an even higher level then perhaps we should review the British method of ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ levels. The short of it is this. ‘O’ levels are the ordinary, standard or minimum levels while the ‘A’ levels are more advance classes. Early in their attendance of what we call High School, British children are more directed toward their eventual career paths. Thus, those who do not intend on or lack the aptitude for careers in engineering or other highly skilled paths need not waste their time with ‘A’ level studies and may leave school once they have achieved their ‘O’ levels. This usually occurs at the age of 16 in England. Those who chose to continue wit their ‘A’ levels receive more education which not only enables them to attain employment in higher skilled areas but also prepares them for even more advanced studies much as our Junior Colleges do.
There has been much discussion, especially coming from our Bernie supporters, about government-funded two-year college. Well, again, if we apply the same concept of redistribution but focus on education levels instead. What we can do is apply the terminology of O/A levels to GED and a 2-yr degree respectfully. Then for the long term plan, say eight years, we can slowly increase the level of education received by the students sooner so that by age 18 they all have opportunity to achieve an A-Level education and by 16 they will have completed the equivalency of the current GED. Those who have the aptitude to achieve could then apply for grants to University level studies. In general, this would universally increase the education level of all Americans and with only a minor increase to funding.