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Bruno: Baseball Analogy Doesn't Help LIFO Understanding

How should a professional baseball team go about laying off its employees and trimming its operating expenses? I have no idea - I don't even like baseball - but Chad Aldeman is sure that because seniority-based layoffs would be a bad idea for a baseball team, they must also be a bad idea for a public school district.

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Aldeman does admit that "the parallels aren't perfect" between a baseball team and a school district, but the real problem is that it's not even clear what parallels there are.

Baseball teams and districts are very different organizations with very different goals operating in very different contexts. They're so different, in fact, that it's not clear why we'd even want to compare them in the first place.   Yes, baseball is a very physical sport so it sounds scary to have players who are "older" or not "healthy," but what does that really have to do with teachers? And are we really equally clear about which teachers and which baseball players are the best or most promising? Unfortunately, Aldeman fails to point to any but the most superficial similarities between the professions.

I'm generally skeptical about LIFO and a fan of analogies. Analogies, however, are typically only helpful for understanding phenomena that are difficult to think about literally and when we are clear about where the analogy is strong and where it breaks down. This particular analogy does not seem to meet those criteria. - PB (@MrPABruno) (image source)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.