Your Views: State can’t run schools like business models
Gov. Walker and Republican lawmakers are using their “Chamber of Commerce” mentality to transform public education into an economic enterprise. They see education as a marketplace where schools (voucher, religious, charter and public) compete for customers (students).
An Indiana businessman had been asked to conduct an in-service program for a school district. His company’s blueberry ice cream had been touted as the “Best in America.” He told the educators: “If I ran my business the way schools operate, I wouldn’t be in business very long.” He said that schools should operate like a company with a business model that produced the best product possible.
A teacher asked about the secret to his company’s success. He said his company used only superior-quality blueberries. When asked what he would do with a shipment of inferior blueberries, he responded, “Send them back!”
The public school teacher exclaimed: “But we don’t send our blueberries back!” We cannot reject those who don’t speak English, nor those with low test scores or disabilities. We must find a place for the behavioral problems or those lacking in motivation and discipline. We are responsible for educating them all, not just those who are able, ready and willing to learn. [Paraphrased from “Reign of Error”]
The businessman came to realize that public schools can never operate like a company. They cannot sort the blueberries and reject those that are bruised and broken. Public schools take them all, everyone, and that’s why education cannot be a business.