Saturday, February 23, 2008

School is not an economic institution

The point of public school is NOT solely to prepare students for work. As Greg Cruey wrote, "I will not reduce public education to an economic institution."

With that said, there are many business principles which make schools more effective. Perhaps most importantly, we need to train teachers and administrators to make them more efficient managers of the learning environment. The first example that comes to mind is Harry Wong on classroom management. And David Langford on TQM in the school.

As the TIME article How to Make Great Teachers points out:
Across the country, hundreds of school districts are experimenting with new ways to attract, reward and keep good teachers. Many of these efforts borrow ideas from business. They include signing bonuses for hard-to-fill jobs like teaching high school chemistry, housing allowances ($15,000 in New York City) and what might be called combat pay for teachers who commit to working in the most distressed schools. But the idea gaining the most momentum — and controversy — is merit pay, which attempts to measure the quality of teachers' work and pay teachers accordingly.

Even our next president is open to considering education vouchers.

No comments: