I was in Des Moines on Tuesday and I had a very interesting conversation with an individual at a restaurant (Granite City...I highly recommend it next time you are down there). He professed that the educational system of America would be vastly improved if it was actually ran like a business. Some of his points consisted of not understanding why underachieving schools continued to operate, why teachers of non-proficient students still had jobs (because he said if he didn't make his quotas for several months in a row he would be fired), and finally talked about how (in his perspective) there is no accountability. I will be the first to admit that he was very passionate about the subject.
I think he was a little surprised by my answer. I responded by telling him, "the difference is, you are selling a product, we are changing people." He looked at me "what's the difference"? Take for a moment your child or all of your children. Each one of them is significantly different. Each one has a different need. Some are in need of mentors, others tutors, and still others just need an interior motive to achieve. Teachers see hundreds of kids walk in and out of their doors each day. Even the very BEST teachers will truly engage about 80% of all their students in a given lesson. When dealing with people you have a lot of variables that coinside with the instruction that is being implemented.
I went on to say I do agree that as a whole (the educational system in America) needs to improve, but running it like a hardcore business may not be the answer (certain components I do agree with).
So what do you think????