Despite his dedication to "simple logic", Sean Muller’s response to my letter (Does funding help? May 10) commits two fundamental logical errors: attributing motives to me and erecting a straw person (School issue needs logic, May 16).
Thus I must "extricate myself from the notion that we ought to rely on an economist sitting behind a desk to come up with universal laws of education". How my letter supports this conclusion is beyond me. Actually, I don’t believe there are any universal laws in the humanities and social "sciences", including education.
Muller’s straw person involves "having class sizes of hundreds with one teacher … with a megaphone". In the 1980s, my then university had 10 microeconomics classes with one lecturer per class, each of 50 students. Subsequent changes resulted in one class, one lecturer and 500 students. The differences in the results in both cases were, however, statistically insignificant.
I invite South African economists, educators and especially public policy makers to critically examine Eric A Hanushek’s work.
To dismiss his work out of hand would be to cast doubt on any commitments to evidence-based public policy.
Dr Doug Blackmur