Here is a link to the original article. It was about the (lack of a) Republican party alternative to the state budget.
The comment came from Stuka at 8:44pm on Thursday, March 4. I won't quote all of it, but I absolutely want to share this part:
The fundamental problem with the public sector is not lack of taxes but lack of performance monitoring and improvement over time. Witness the public school system for evidence of the failure to monitor the quality of teachers, of teaching performance, of student performance, and of school performance. Same with the criminal-justice system: who is monitoring the quality of inmates produced by our prisons? The quality of justice by our judges and prosecutors? and the quality of policing by our police departments?
Unfortunately, we don't pay for outcomes, but for staffing levels at fixed salary levels. A secondary effect of good government seems to be sometimes adequate government. Maybe we ought to reward for performance instead. That will happen only when compensation is tied to performance and not taking up space in a bureaucracy until the bureaucrat can collect a pension for enduring the bureaucracy, a feat that may be quite difficult and challenging, but in and of itself, produces no output that citizens value.
I highly value the services that government intends to provide (unlike many Republicans), but am unwilling to pay (unlike many Democrats) for monopolistic and ineffective government bureaucracies that have no handle on how to be effective and efficient in what they're doing. This leaves me in a quandry since the demand for services is unceasing and the inertia of ineffective government is entrenched. Mostly I try to vote for anything that smacks of actual reward for performance, and vote against anything that looks like hoggish behavior (as in pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered).
I don't oppose teacher evaluations. I strongly support them. I don't know anyone who actually opposes them. People just want them to be accurate and meaningful. I want them to reflect the teacher's effectiveness rather than other factors that contribute (much more) to student outcomes. I also definitely want authentic performance evaluations for principals and central office staff.
More and more I learn that it is ineffective principals who stand in the way of real improvement and I learn that it is purposeless central staff who cause the budgets to bloat.
Business models don't work in the public sector because there are no real market forces, no profit motive, and no threat of failure. Teachers don't make more money if they attract more students into their classes, schools aren't businesses with shareholders who will see higher profits if they attract higher enrollments or potential losses from lower enrollments. There is no reward for higher quality and no penalty for lower quality.
We need to find a model that works for the public sector. I can think of some. I'm sure that you all can think of more.
More than that, we need to find a way to implement an effective model in the public sector. There can be lots of great ideas, but the obstacle will be those invested in the status quo who have the ability to block real reform.