In Monday's Wall Street Journal, former football great Fran Tarkenton goes deep.

Deep to the root of what’s wrong with government-run education, that is.

And he scores. His WSJ Op-Ed “What if the NFL Played by Teachers’ Rules” starts out with a stark picture of the National Football League operating under the same stipulations found in teachers union contracts: “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.” 

Long retired from professional football, Tarkenton is a business entrepreneur. His website boasts that he’s started 20 companies over the past 25 years.

Here in Michigan, there is another former professional athlete turned entrepreneur — actually, education entrepreneur. Former University of Michigan and NBA star Jalen Rose last month opened the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a charter high school, in his hometown of Detroit. In testimony to the Michigan Senate Education Committee, Rose made remarks about teacher tenure that were similar to Tarkenton's:

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Yes, the NFL and NBA players belong to labor unions, and as brilliantly outlined by the Reason Foundation in March 2011, their contracts are not without problems.  

But as Jalen Rose and Fran Tarkenton boldly stated, tenure and pay-for-performance aren't among them.  


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