Two articles this week cite the disappointment with Silicon Valley’s grandest grand pubas with the public school system’s “factory model” and the power of teachers’ unions. Futurist Alvin Toffler kicks off an “interview at Edutopia with a properly dramatic tone:
You’ve been writing about our educational system for decades. What’s the most pressing need in public education right now?
Shut down the public education system.
That’s pretty radical.
I’m roughly quoting (Microsoft chairman) Bill Gates, who said, “We don’t need to reform the system; we need to replace the system.”
Then (via To The People) we’ve got Steve Jobs blasting the inflexibility created by union-drafted contracts that sacrifice quality to job security:
“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 believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way,” Jobs said.
“This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy.”