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I have noticed a troubling limitation in the thinking patterns of trained economist - they all seem to stumble on questions in the "what came first - the chicken or the egg" category. (For more on this, google "supply versus demand get a grip") When it comes to spending on education, if given a choice between more spending and reform we must choose both.

Improving education will require educational reform which will require money. If we want the best and brightest to become teachers we need to pay teachers more like professionals. Of course, simply paying more will not make existing teachers any better but it t will attract better teachers over time. If we want improved teaching techniques, we will need to spend money on research that involves actually teaching real kids, using them as guinea pigs and seeing how they do. Simply giving more spending flexibility to every school in the country and hoping for innovative solutions is dumb for two reasons. One – educational professionals have historically been paid badly so you do not have many high performers in education. Two – the high performers are almost always teachers who have they hands full teaching.

So, what we need is an investment in people and research over time. This will take a lot of spending. Just pretend that we are building a new weapon system and think 'decades'.

By the way, as stated in the piece from, evolutionary theory makes it clear that it was the egg, laid by a proto-chicken. It took a eons to make that first chicken egg.