Women's Lib Ruined Public Schools

A post on Cosmic Variance:

The comments on Sean’s post below brought to mind a conversation I had long ago. I had been a postdoc at the Carnegie Observatories, which was a research foundation funded by donors. We were having a meet-n-greet with the folks who had given money to the institute — showing them the machine shop, the offices, etc. I was sitting down with one of the more elderly donors, who announced, “Women’s lib killed the public school system.” (Full Post)

The premise is, basically, that women had very few carrier choices in the past. They either taught or nursed. So, presumably, our schools got all the best and brightest women as teachers. Now those women go into other carriers (Cosmic Variance is not necessarily endorsing this view, just reporting).

I can see where the donor was coming from, but I just can't buy it. It seems to me that the school systems are more fundamentally flawed than just not getting smart or talented enough teachers. I think you could even make an argument that the school systems can't work in the current social environment.

What do you think? What is the starting point for improving the public schools?

[Picture via friendsfabricart]