Thomas Sowell

 The consistently low academic quality of the people who go into teaching in our public schools -- as shown by innumerable studies going back more than half a century -- is an almost inevitable consequence of filtering them through schools of education, whose ridiculous teacher training courses would repel virtually any intelligent person.

 Some dedicated people with intelligence may suffer through ed school in order to teach, but many others will decide that they have better things to do than listen to the pretentious garbage presented to students under the guise of teacher training.

 Whether in the corporate world or in the military, as politics and public relations become an increasing part of the job of people at the top, that filter can eliminate individuals whose only real talent is that they can get the job done right, even if they are not smooth on television or glib at conferences.

 Who knows how the great industrial entrepreneurs of the 19th century would have come across on TV? But all they had to do was deliver a good product at a low price. Today, they might be replaced by someone more photogenic or charismatic  -- even if the consumers ended up paying more or getting less.

 In the military, the difference between a mediocre general and a great general can be not only the difference between victory and defeat but also the difference between life and death for the troops under his command. Could a MacArthur or a Patton rise to the same level of command today? And how many more soldiers will lose their lives if they can't?

 Filters matter. The Senate should not become a filter like schools of education that filter out good people.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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