Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Highest Paid Public Officials in US

Many lament the dismal performance of the US education system.  Despite vast amounts of money spent, US students lag those in other countries.

College athletic systems are doing just fine though, with college coaches being the highest-paid public officials in fully 80% of states, as shown in this map by deadspin.com.

Football coaches do best.  USA Today recently published a list of the top 10 salaries in football.

In general, basketball coaches don't do quite so well, with the glaring exception of Mike Krysewski, the highest paid of them all.  He does turn out a strong team year after year (as this Duke fan can personally attest to) but $7M?

There's a myth that these programs contribute substantial monies to the coffers of their universities. In Disrupting Class, Christensen had a statistic that said the vast majority of college athletic programs actually lose money (can't lay my hands on the book to dig out the exact reference). Deadspin concurs with Christensen's assessment; they claim that athletic programs at the top 99 schools lost an average of $5M once you take out student fees and university subsidies. So, with free labour from all the students players, the business model still doesn't work. Doesn't seem like all that good a business to me.

Would less attention on athletics and more on education result in better education results for Americans?

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