In a WSJ article today by NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, Tarkenton imagines an NFL set up like the public school system:
...Each player's salary is based on how long he's been in the league. It's about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he's an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player's been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct.
What do you think of Tarkenton's comparison? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
In this alternate reality, the performance on the field would steadily decline without an incentive to play harder and risk getting hurt. "No matter how much money was poured into the league, it wouldn't get better."
Tarkenton also envisions the "few wild-eyed reformers" who would suggest "the whole system was broken and needed revamping to reward better results, but the players union would refuse to budge and then demonize the reform advocates..."
As he explains, in the context of the public school system:
Teachers' salaries have no relation to whether teachers are actually good at their job—excellence isn't rewarded, and neither is extra effort. Pay is almost solely determined by how many years they've been teaching. That's it. After a teacher earns tenure, which is often essentially automatic, firing him or her becomes almost impossible, no matter how bad the performance might be. And if you criticize the system, you're demonized for hating teachers and not believing in our nation's children. [...]
...[W]e need to reward great teachers who show they can make that happen—and get rid of bad teachers who don't get the job done. It's what we do in every other profession: If you're good, you get rewarded, and if you're not, then you look for other work....
In its current state, the American public school system has shown the failure of endless government intervention and spending, plus the destruction of individual initiative and innovation, preventing the system from ever improving. What are your thoughts on the matter?