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What Can Educators Learn from Business?


Dear Deborah,

I loved your last column. I really enjoyed your references to craft and tinkering. I admire hands-on work, especially since the only work I seem to do these days with my own hands is to type and occasionally to make a salad or scrambled eggs. I would only caution that handiwork, as satisfying as it may be, can never take the place of knowledge, the sort of knowledge gleaned from books and study of the experiences of others. One’s own direct experience of the hands-on kind will take you just so far and no farther. We can’t learn history except by studying it; we can’t learn science except by mastering the knowledge that has been hard-won by scientists; we can't learn philosophy other than by reading and discussing what we have read with others. As one of my intellectual heroes, William Chandler Bagley, wrote many years ago, knowledge for understanding, knowledge for interpretation, knowledge in depth requires much more than hands-on experience. It requires study (as you suggest with your list of 100 books) and concentrated effort.

Nonetheless, I reacted enthusiastically to what you wrote. Like you, I have been despondent about the decline of craft, especially in the arena that I know best, which is publishing. I can’t tell you how dispiriting it is to pick up a book or magazine or newspaper and come across errors of syntax and grammar, as well as just plain sloppiness. There used to be more spelling errors than now, but I attribute that not to an improvement in knowledge of spelling, but to spell-checking software.

One cause of the loss of knowledge, as you describe it in the auto industry and elsewhere, was the last generation of corporate raiders. Last summer, while preparing to write the book that I am now working on, I began plowing through books about American business. One of the most interesting was Connie Bruck’s "The Predators’ Ball," where she explains how Michael Milken, the junk bond king, perfected the art of taking over corporations, turning them over to wealthy friends who knew nothing about the industry, and then disposing of their assets, with everyone but the consumers getting fabulously wealthy. I highly recommend this book, as it tells a fascinating and horrifying story of the destruction of many well-known American household brands by corporate raiders, motivated solely by unquenchable greed.

Another fascinating and horrifying story is Thomas F. O’Boyle’s "At Any Cost: Jack Welch, General Electric, and the Pursuit of Profit," which tells how Jack Welch transformed General Electric. What was once a household brand known by every American was converted to a financial services business, with profit as the only goal and the only value. If you read this book, you will see how sad it is that Jack Welch is now considered a guru of leadership, even, startlingly, in the field of education! (He was chairman of the board of New York City's Leadership Academy to train new principals, perhaps teaching them the art of ruthlessness, an art that does not come naturally to educators.) GE was a “leader” in exporting jobs and manufacturing overseas and destroying a large sector of the consumer products industry in this nation.

This profit-driven mentality has infected education with the recent introduction of programs to pay students to show up for school and/or to get higher test scores. The rationale for such innovations is that students, like adults, should be motivated by greed, not love of learning. The same rationale is behind the current enthusiasm for performance-based pay for teachers tied to test scores. If we listen to the champions of these ideas, education can be reduced to the profit motive, and test scores are the profit.

The people who advance these ideas never stop to consider that the tests now in use are totally unsuited for these purposes, and that these programs are unlikely to succeed for a variety of reasons. I wrote a piece for Forbes last week on this subject. Such programs are inherently flawed because when the money stops, the motivation stops. Furthermore, they are unsustainable and cannot be scaled up, not only because they are very expensive when they go beyond the pilot stage, but because they will consume vast resources that could be better used to promote better instruction, better teachers, smaller classes, better facilities, etc.

Now that our economy has been plunged into crisis by bad economic and business decisions, we must recognize that education is a distinct profession, like medicine and the law. It has its own ideals and values. It cannot, should not, be run "like a business." Or it will fail "like a business."



I think I'm done with this column.

If both of you are going to continue to be so closed to any ideas other than the status quo; if the only thing that matters to you is rendering out and consuming vast tomes of text; if building--be it companies or world regions or economies or schools -- is something that you will weekly throw under the bus to the idolatry of whiny authors who make a name for themselves tearing down the builders of the world, then I share nothing here.

We have become a nation that lives from so-called crisis to crisis. This keeps the english majors of the world in coin, but it does little to build us up.

So, go ahead. Stick with the status quo. It works great for all kids, especially the urban minorities.

I'll be on the classically liberal, progressive, "if you love me, feed my sheep" side of the fight.

What is Profit?

In the organic sense, all humans endeavor to profit from their work. Educators, bureaucrats, businessmen and monks are all in the same boat.

In economic life profit is measured in monetary terms. Profit lets an entity know that it's doing something right, that it has served others. If Google didn't give customers and investors what they want it would go out of business.

The further economic entities are removed from the market place the less social accountability they have. The inherent profit motive becomes unharnessed from competition and no longer serves the consumer.

Big companies, the bigger they get, often get lazy and ripe for dethroning. But it isn’t just sloth that sows the seeds of destruction. Behemoths of business oft run into calculation problems. When size and complexity become unwieldy due to distancing from monetary measurement and profit-loss, this lack of tools for rational action contributes to downfall.

One might ask why there are major exceptions. Detroit car giants, for example, have not collapsed (entirely) in spite of their huge losses in the market place. The consumers decided that Detroit cars are too expensive and that they prefer Toyotas. There is only one reason for explaining Detroit’s survival: government intervention. Through tariffs, bailouts and make-work projects consumer sovereignty has been replaced by the coercion of government. In this sense, government is antisocial and antidemocratic because it forces people to subsidize the unproductive behavior of entities that are not serving their interests or consciences.

The same incentive and calculation problems are what plague government institutions. Public schooling, by definition, is one great example of an entity wholly removed from the market. As long as school and government are one and the same the inherent profit motive will serve government’s ends instead of serving parents, kids and communities, and will do so irrationally.

It all depends on how you define "business". A key business strategy that education ignores out right is “benchmarking” best practices. We don’t even benchmark the best practices in the US let alone the rest of the world. No one ever videotaped Louis Leithold the man who taught Jaime Escalante how to teach calculus. Louis wrote the textbook book for calculus. We continue to ignore what works in our best school districts, other English speaking countries (Singapore) or our best performing alternative schools (KIPP). If you look at KIPP you come to a couple of obvious conclusions, the school day and year need to be longer, administrators should spend time in the classroom teaching, and inner city minorities can succeed in school. When you look at Singapore you see that class size is irrelevant, multilingual students are no excuse for poor performance, and integrating online, offline and software can work well (Heymath.com, wiggle woods software from the Singapore dept of education). If schools were run like a business with the objective of high average levels of achievement in core subjects (math, reading, science, physical education) schools would be open longer (day, week, year), students would spend more time in the classroom, have more recess breaks, have paperback/or online textbooks (they cost less), employ proven online resources in and out of the classroom (Heymath, mathscore, headsprout, etc) and focus on a national content specific set of standards. Parents would be provided easy to use information (like what specific words their child needs to read, spell and define for their grade) to help their students succeed based on what works instead of incomprehensible eduspeak and unproven opinions. With a likely Democratic administration it will be interesting to see George Miller will do in the hot seat and who gets to run the Dept of education.


I agree that benchmarking has value, if it is done with care. I would think schools would be impressed by the Core Knowledge curriculum, which assures that children get a rich liberal arts program while achieving good results on tests.

On the other hand, you mention the example of KIPP and its longer hours. But is that really the cause of KIPP's success? KIPP has a very high attrition rate. The most recent study from California says that 50-60% of the students who started 5th grade in the KIPP schools there are gone by the end of 8th grade. Thus, this is not a model that would be helpful to schools that cannot discharge half their enrollment. Don't you agree?


I have said before that I think we ought to be cautious about adopting some sort of business model for education. I'll stick with that view, but I think we might question just what constitutes a business model, or more generally, just how we view business. The other day in a comment I asked why banks would pay good money for bad promises. My conclusion was that there must obviously be a market for bad promises. I would pay good money for a bad promise if I knew I could immediately resell it for a profit. I further speculated that Fannie May and Freddy Mac were probably created and mandated by law to buy up bad promises, in the idealistic notion that that would somehow be a good thing to do. Whether or not my speculation about Fannie May and Freddy Mac is on target, the question cries out for an answer. Why would anyone pay good money for bad promises? It was apparently done to the extent of about 700 billion dollars. I don't think this is normal business, and I don't think our current financial mess says anything about any kind of business model for education.

In Diane's post of today another question comes up, equally crying out for an answer. How did Jack Welch and Michael Milken make big money by destroying productivity? That sounds like what happened, but I don't think that's the usual way to get rich in business. It sounds like a perpetual motion machine. Bill Gates didn't get rich by destroying productivity. The computer system I am using right now, for all its faults, is still a tremendous leap in productivity compared to the old heavy office typewriter I used for half my lifetime. I suppose Gates and Microsoft have plenty to be criticized for, but I think the big picture is clear. Gates got rich by increasing productivity. Sam Walton got rich by productivity, from which I profit every time I go to Wal Mart and pick up more bargains. The normal pattern is that a business has no chance of success and wealth unless it is productive. There are exceptions of course. It is possible to get rich on speculation, but it is not the general pattern. If it is indeed true that Welch and Milken got rich by destroying productivity, then we need to know how.

One possible explanation is that Welch and Milken were simply gamblers that hit the jackpot. If that is the explanation, then no one has any more than a gambler's chance of repeating their success. Another explanation is that the playing field was perverted by bad regulation. If that is the case then I have no idea of the nature of this bad regulation, but that doesn't mean much. I think bad regulation has to be the cause of our present financial mess, so it may have happened before.

To say that Welch and Milken were motivated by greed may be true enough, but it is no explanation. I am motivated by greed whenever I have a house on the market, but unfortunately my greed is utterly irrelevant to the price that some potential buyer will actually offer. Greed may be taken for granted in many situations, and it is a bad thing only in certain situations. It may be a part of many explanations, but sufficient for none.

So it seems to me that a business model for education, whatever it might be, would have nothing at all to do with high stakes gambling or perpetual motion machines. A business model for education would be much more attuned to ordinary good business practices and considerations. That would include productivity, of course. Indeed it might center on productivity. But it would also include knowing the market, knowing accounting, merchandising, marketing, and a lot of other very mundane things. Welch and Milken are certainly part of business, but I don't think their exploits represent normal business in America. A business model for education, it seem to me, would get a lot more from the neighborhood grocery store.

I mentioned the "parent model" for education the other day. How about a "craftsman model"? I wonder if that might be worth some careful thought.

You mention Michael Milken, but fail to mention the Milken Family Foundation's role in the Teacher Advancement Program, the professional development program that includes pay-for-performance based on student test scores. The dot-org program was directed by Lowell, Michael's brother.

You might ask a TAP school what it costs to run that program and how much of the money goes to teachers. You might ask where the money comes from and where the money goes. But the time for questions has long passed, hasn't it?

What is done is done.


Although I'm usually on your side, even after reading Deborah's convincing arguments to the contrary, I have to disagree with your statement that, "It (education) cannot, should not, be run "like a business." Or it will fail "like a business."

If for no other reason, education should be run like a business to open the market up to competition. Public schools in America became complacent with their offering too long ago and have had little or no incentive to improve upon their product. Prior to the education reform movement in this country our public schools suffered from their own dismal inertia. They had no reason to change and even less reason to improve. They were failing miserably yet, in their eyes, there was little or no incentive to reform.

Suddenly, charter schools appeared and suddenly many parents had a choice, previously afforded only to students of wealth. If nothing, else this new competition was a bit of a wake-up call to our public schools. Charters haven't been THE answer, but they certainly have gained the attention of the educational establishment.

Competition is one of the primary variables that has made this country what it is. It (at least until recently) has been the heart of our free-market economy and the envy of the world for almost four hundred years.

I’m not a fan of vouchers per say, because I’m too concerned with the potential erosion of the separation of church and state. Don’t believe we should now, or anytime in the future, let any one religion try to dominate our society. Freedom of religion has been a linchpin of this country. Many would contend it’s why this country got started. No sense in messing with that now.

But magnets, charters, privates, parochials, etc., even home schooling they’re all a good thing for the business of education. Their competition keeps our neighborhood public schools on their toes.


I don't agree with your analysis. I don't know of any district where charter schools have made regular public schools "better" because of competition. Do you? Public schools are not a private good; they are a public service.

Do you think the firehouse in your neighborhood should be privatized? Do you think we should encourage others to set up their own firefighting services to improve the local firehouse through competition?



Guess what I'm trying to say is that charter schools have been a successful initial challenge to the previous public school monopoly. There are parents today that have a choice where to send their kids to school. This market competition has been good for public education because it has become somewhat of a threat (not that threats are a good thing) to the previous status quo. Twenty years ago many of these parents had no place to go except the local public school.

As for privatizing the local firehouse, I'm not at all dissatisfied with my local fire department. I think they do a good job. How about school custodians? I'd vote in a nano-second to replace most of them with a privatized cleaning service.

Hi Diane,

With respect to your answer to Paul, I can actually point out improvements in public schools that are directly related to Charter Schools. One that comes to mind immediately is the adoption of Core Knowledge in Fort Collins Co. as a result of about one out of six kids in the district on the waiting list for two small charter schools, Liberty and Ridgeview.

But that is beside the point. I have begun to understand more deeply recently from reading your books why the public school system does not change. There are too many entrenched ideological, financial and personal interests.

Not only does competition fail to improve public education. Everything else we try fails as well.

I continue to believe that there are things that great schools do that poor and mediocre schools do not do. There are about a dozen depending upon who is enumerating them.

Great schools begin with an attitude that the demographic issues are hurdles but not insurmountable obstacles. They use every method possible to get great teachers and education leaders and get ruthlessly remove bad ones. They use curricula that work. Many if not most use Core Knowledge or something like that. They “teach more by teaching less” as they say in Singapore. This means teaching central skills beyond the point of automaticity. They focus exclusively on high standards and teach to those standards. And they give frequent tests and quizzes to those standards. They have monthly or so sanity checks to ensure that each child is learning to those standards and each teacher is teaching to those standards. They seek hundreds of small solutions instead of new programs or a new system. They do what the best scientific research on education suggests. They are not wedded to dogma. None “teach to the test.”; they teach the students the material and the students do fine on “the test”.

No where in this list is lowering class size or a vast infusion of money. Some of these schools operate on a shoe string and still outperform schools with similar demographics.

Some like the Achievement Collaborative do a just a couple of these things. Some like Achievement First do everything and more. Ridgeview selects its students largely by lottery. Yet it outperforms elite highly selective schools.

The more schools do these things the better their kids do. Schools choose to be poor or mediocre or great.

Tom Linehan

I spent my morning reviewing charter schools for my son. We are at the last, desparate end of his high school career and it has become very clear that between the accommodations that he can make and the ones that the public district can make there is still a gaping hole in the middle. We have been sliding down the pole of my commitment to quality public education. We have assembled a considerable network of supports outside of school, we have written and agreed to the perfect IEP. I have explored alternatives within the district, such as they exist--including the district sponsored charter. I looked at highly performing, mission driven charters (full) and some others with a less solid record (too identical to the public school offering). We have gotten to the bottom of the heap--the management company chain of drop-out recovery charters. The are both the lowest of the low in the esteem of educators and one has the additional bad rep of having had an ugly incident of violence in their parking lot. The other wasn't immediately intrigueing because its scores were lower and because I couldn't over the phone talk to anyone who could discuss their curriculum or special education supports intelligently.

The one with the bad rep came to my attention primarily because the daughter of a friend has been having a good experience there. The influence of business was quite obvious in our visit there--so let me tell you some things that schools could be learning.

1) When you have an incident that garners bad publicity, you take action to show that you have corrected it. We did not see kids or adults "hanging around" the parking lot. The security guard was introduced and their screening procedures reviewed--because "we want to make sure that you are safe" (not because "some of our kids or their families are into some stuff"). At the other school there were kids in gang wear smoking in the parking lot. My son reacted to the metal detectors.

2) You have to tailor your program to your market. That sounds ugly. But if your mission is to recover kids who have already disconnected and dropped out, you have to think about what their top needs are and how best to meet them. I am not fond of computerized work-books, however, in this case, it allows for rolling enrollment. It is nearly November. We spent at least a month with the public school working out the IEP that wasn't sufficient. Getting started, right away, from where we are, is important. This place has been through the mill regarding enrollment problems and their enrollment specialist (think salesman) was able to run down some of the reasons that kids deliberately enroll and disappear (need the enrollment paper for parole officer or for SSI or welfare office, want the bus pass, etc), as well as some of the battles that kids fight with lack of self-discipline, especially if they have been out for awhile. They have an orientation process that allows not only to weed out the kids who are unwilling to show up every day, but also to assess and support kids who are willing in developing a new set of habits.

3) Provide enough information to make a decision about their "product." I know that the orientation that we came to was largely a sales pitch. But--it included a power point, that ensured that the same points are covered every time (and they do this 4 days every week). It also included the three big rules of the school (Responsiblity, respect, safety) and showed how the applied to various aspects of school life (attendance, dress, conflicts). This is also the core of Positive Behavior Support--which I have not seen as clearly implemented in any public school that I have visited. (The second school totally lost out--they had a receptionist who gave us an enrollment packet in the lobby. She didn't pick up on any of our questions about curriculum or special education, except to assure us that they had those things adequately covered.

4) If you have highly credentialed folks on staff, you cannot afford to use them for paper shufflers. I asked to talk to the intervention teacher. Instead I was escorted to the school psychologist (after being introduced to the intervention teacher). I don't expect to be able to talk to school psychologists. In public school their job is to perform MFEs to say yes or no with regard to qualification for special education. They have multiple schools and you only see them once every three years for a new MFE. Our most recent contact (when my son, now 18 needed to give consent for "review of the IEP" for appropriateness) was through a form letter, dropping in to a meeting (that my son was not at--so he couldn't get his paper signed) to announce that we only had one more opportunity to access his services (which were still not clear to me) and to add the very helpful information that perhaps my son had "plateaued" cognitively 3 years ago and just wasn't able to learn any more. The psychologist that we met today is on site 3 days a week, is knowledgeable about disabilities and the law--and was able to suggest some things to think about beyond high school. There is also a social worker who actually does social work.

There is nothing that we saw today that could not provide valuable information to every public school with which we have come in contact. My deep preference would be for public schools to be able to (prevent and) respond to kids who don't fit well and drop out. I have deep regrets that all of the people who got us this far will not be with us at graduation--and I believe that he will get there.

So--are there things that education can learn from business, yeah.

In my opinion, what Margo is describing is the result of the gap between mental health and school systems. When we truly integrate the two, and quit part and parceling out the child, then we have the power to support the growth of the whole child and family system. It is not just about academics. As Einstein said, "No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it."

Unfortunately "hands-on" learning has come to mean being physically active even without reason. If each student has a marker and is taking part in the completion of a graphic organizer, that is considered "hands-on."

That kind of "hands-on" learning denigrates both handicraft and intellectual work.

To learn a manual craft, or anything that takes manual skill, from carpentry to playing a musical instrument, one must learn to watch and listen closely, often for extended periods of time. Doing is essential but not sufficient. One can practice and practice, but without close attention to excellent examples, the practice will likely be futile.

So, too, with intellectual work. One should not be "producing" all the time. If one does not know how to listen and read, if one has no idea what constitutes careful thought, then the chatter will spin around and around. It may qualify as "accountable talk," but that is a superficial designation.

To have good craft (manual or intellectual), we have to stop the activity mania and make room for excellence. That leads to the question of the business model and competition among schools.

Competition keeps schools on their toes, but now too many schools are on tiptoe and hyperventilating. That is not a healthy state. Schools believe that everyone has to be working visibly and constantly; if anyone has a moment to pause, that's "free time," and that cannot be. Teachers and students must be doing something at every moment. Thinking does not count. Productivity must be material and measurable.

A bad mistake, and very sad.

Diana Senechal

Correction: replace "denigrates" with "cheapens":

"That kind of "hands-on" learning cheapens both handicraft and intellectual work."

A result of being in a rush....


The joke about social workers is:

Q. How many social workers does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Just one, but the light bulb has to want to change.

I believe that you are right about the need to meld mental health and school systems and to operate more holistically. But I keep coming back to the essential question--is the school system willing to change? There is a body of knowledge (Prochaska) about readiness for and implementation of change. There is the phase of denying or not seeing any problem/need for change. There is the awareness/thinking about/readiness stage. There there are planning, implementation and normalizing. In mental health/addiction work, there is an enormous focus on moving through the first three stages--the intervention model of making clear that there is a problem--and laying out steps to change. In a business model, goal setting/accountability systems are very helpful in establishing the existence of the need for change.

Your comment just reminded me that there are educators who have passed beyond denial and are ready to look at solutions. But, we need to get a critical mass of teachers/workers/leaders there within school systems in order to successfully implement needed change.

Public schools are not businesses.

Businesses have to serve people’s wishes or they disappear: markets have accountability via voluntary exchange.

Public schools, on the other hand, are part of the apparatus that forces people to conform to its wishes. Government accountability is arranged involuntarily!

(in reality business and government are very much intertwined thanks to statist mechanisms and ideology)

Margo, yes. You have identified an important distinction between clinical and teaching professionals (although it can be argued that each does both): Teachers are accountable for student performance/behavior; counselors are accountable for their own only. In therapy, the onus for change is on the client, not the therapist. And, to date, there is no NCLB for the practice of therapy. (Please be aware that I, apparently like you, hold licensure/certifications in both professions.) When (if) NCLB evolves, hopefully this therapeutic piece will be included and emphasized. And I agree with Diana S. that not all important things are measurable quantitatively.


I think you missed my point. Therapists are indeed accountable, although not perhaps at a national level, such as NCLB. But accountability for outcomes in funding came to my work in social work long before it hit the public schools. I have watched funding go from the anecdotal (we are doing "God's work") to the purely quantitative (how many hours with how many people) to accounting for outcomes. This is one reason that I am so conversant with Prochaska. I worked as a grant-writer for an organization with a tobacco cessation program. The success rate for cessation (generally measured as still not smoking one year after completion of the program) is very low (less than 20%--I forget the specifics). No one wants to fund a program with that kind of numbers. However, we could quantify movement through those five stages in a way that demonstrated that there was in fact progress for a substantial number (to warrant the amount of time our workers put in), and connect this to longer term research about the effectiveness of repeated efforts. I can also throw in that this evolution was in part the result of major funders (United Way and the like) who could quantify the dollars "invested" in various community problems with no appreciable movement in community indicators. So--handing out thousands of stop smoking pamphlets wasn't getting us anywhere (as the DARE program was also not having an impact on prevention of drug use), just as decades of Title I funding has not brought us to any evidence of a more level educational playing field for disadvantaged kids.

I would say that the social services have accommodated more rapidly as their funding is far more vulnerable (for better or worse). But, there are also organizations that refused to change and are no longer around.

Paul Hoss,

But actually, most public school parents (and citizens) weren't dissatisfied about their schools, any more than you are about your fire department. Maybe they should have been, and maybe proper data keeping would make us more dissatisfied with our fire station too. We could try comparing fire stations to each other and rating them, and comparing them to those in Singapore an maybe we'd see a "fir house crisis". We've never properly identified he crisis, so no wonder we can't fix it. By market place or nonmarket place schemes.

One definition is that it's whatever you (parent) want. Then we need to be sure all the choices are equally cheap and equally convenient and equally accessible.

Will the public be willing to pay for that answer?


In my opinion, when we offer teachers' bonuses based on student performance, then we have a business model. I shudder to think of what paying teachers commissions will do for the education of students with learning disabilities and/or emotional/behavioral disorders. Or, actually, the education of people in any non-dominant group...


I remember you've raised the point before that we were not, in fact, dissatisfied with our public schools. However, as soon as a Nation At Risk was published (amazingly now a quarter century ago) and education reform was initiated, followed by state NCLB tests, we then had quantitative data indicating what we suspected all along. Our schools were not doing a good job, especially with poor and minority students/schools. In addition we are headed toward a more accurate, comprehensive, and uniform indication of our drop-out rates from state to state. This will further corroborate/exacerbate the poor view we have of our schools.

While I realize the problem needs to be addressed by more than just our schools, test scores, drop-out rates, etc., negatively reflect most directly on our schools, not the other social service agencies that should be included in curing these problems.

Paul and Deb:

While research generally shows that parents are satisfied with their own school (even while dissatisfied with education as a whole), I think that this can likely be seen as the resolution of cognitive dissonance--given the role that parents play in selecting their child's school--either by buying a house or some other means. If they don't like their child's school--it's at least partly their responsibility to make a change.

But the level of concern for making the right choice would appear to be high. Real estate agents for years have used schools to sell houses. Take a gander at the listings in any metropolitan area--the district is listed if it is suburban, ignored if it is urban. One reason for higher real estate values in suburban areas has to do with perceived quality of schools.

I don't think that a teacher's salary should be solely tied to how students perform. Shouldn't that be up to the students? What if a teacher gets a classroom full of imbeciles one year? Is that fair?

What Can Educators Learn from Business?

Better to ask, "What can educators learn from the American Society for Quality and the National Institute of Standards and Technology?"

Suppose you were a freshly hired state superintendent of public instruction, and Diane Ravich suggested (courtesy of Achieve, Inc.) that you build the capacity for faculty development within your department (presumably because the ed schools won't meet the needs of school districts and kids). Such a superintendent would be well advised to leverage all that ASQ and NIST have to offer.

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