Monday, February 19, 2007

Steve Job and Micheal Dell on Teachers Unions

AP Wire | 02/16/2007 | Apple CEO lambasts teacher unions: "'What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn't get rid of people that they thought weren't any good?' he asked to loud applause during an education reform conference.
'Not really great ones because if you're really smart you go, 'I can't win.''"

I found a bit of an example of what it might be like under those circumstances.
"Back home in Florida, I have a French friend, AW, who used to own several nightclubs in Marseilles. "They were very successful in terms of sales," he told me. "But it just wasn't worth it. After working 80 hours a week for five years, my clubs were the most successful in the entire city. Still, after I got through paying all the regulatory fees, employee benefits programs, and taxes, there was nothing left for me. I was making less money than my managers, who were working only 40 hours a week...
France is not alone in this regard. Many modern democracies - including the United States - face the same problems. But when you mix an aversion to work with a love for bureaucracy, you have a potent poison for entrepreneurs. And because small businesses are responsible for most new growth and employment ... that's not a good thing for a country's economy."

It is odd: I have never met a teacher who isn't dedicated to teaching their students, yet it seems that the schools as a whole are just not doing all that great of a job of education. While I am sure that there are some bad apples (there always are in any large organization) I don't think they are all that plentiful. I tend to think that there is some systemic problem.

This opinion is bolstered by the fact that the number one objection to homeschooling is, "But what about your children's socialization?" I thought school was about education not just social skills.

That reminds me of Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy "states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions."

Is the problem the teacher's unions or the administration or the mandates from the Federal government? I don't know and I don't really care anymore. I know what I want my child to achieve and I can help her pull it off.

I also believe that you can do the same thing. You need to have a goal for what you want your children to learn and be and help them achieve that and nothing can stop you except yourself.

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