I may only be a business minor, but I know the difference between good and bad business. If you’re going to turn education into a business with students as products, at least employ good business practices.
Susan Altman, a teacher and current MBA student at Oxford University, writes a wonderful article on corporate reform’s bad business on my favorite education reform satire blog EduShyster.
Here are some notable quotes:
“First, following standard operations practice, we must establish whether education reformers see education as a service or a product. (As an educator, every bone in my teacher body screams service to all humanity with a damn it thrown in for good measure).”
“If the reform crowd agrees with me, they should, according to my nifty Pearson textbook, endorse “a high degree of customization, a move away from standardization, and focus on “intangible deeds and processes.”
“Even if we say that students are products and that teaching can be broken down into an assembly line of measurable tasks, old-fashioned Fordism isn’t even how good business operations are done anymore. That ugly, dehumanizing, and elitist way of thinking about factory work went out of fashion with the poodle skirt.”
Here’s a thought: if education reformers are going to use the language of business to justify their policies, how about they at least use business ideas from this century?
Be sure to check it out for yourself!