Monica’s Education Reforms Revealed!

Chatterbox has been wondering for months what the oft-mentioned education reforms that Monica Lewinsky recommended to Clinton consisted of. Now, with the release of the Flytrap tapes, we know. [Clarification, 11/18/98: Actually, we’ve”known” this for awhile because the transcripts were released weeks ago;but Chatterbox missed it at the time, and doesn’t recall seeing this inprint.]

Here’s what Chatterbox just picked up eavesdropping on AOL’s broadcast of the tapes:

  • “Teacher salaries are too low.” The Japanese pay teachers 2 percent more than they pay engineers. “What kind of message do we send to Americans?” (Chatterbox, incidentally, has no idea whether this statistic is accurate.)
  • Tenure is idiotic. “No teacher should have job security like that. They need to perform.”
  • The private sector should boost teacher salaries by donating money to be targeted for teacher scholarships.

Chatterbox, who is going to be serious for just a second here, agrees with the first two recommendations (though, like President Clinton, he likes the idea of linking pay increases to performance). The third recommendation isn’t necessarily terrible, though Monica doesn’t really spell out how she’s going to get businesses to fork over. (Tax breaks? I’d like to know the details first.)

Timothy Noah