Turning Schools Into Profit Centers

Peter Sacks, Education Week, Jan 10, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This article highlights some of the dangers of the 'pay for performance' model being adopted in the U.S. education system. In a nutshell, "schools operating in such 'corporatized' environments have, in due course, adopted some of the tricks of the Enrons and WorldComs, fudging the numbers and hiding the losses to inflate their performance." The article is also critical of short-term indicators of success, such as high stakes exams, suggesting instead that schools should be perhaps evaluated on the number of graduates who go on to college. It's an interesting thought - by any test-based measure, my high school education would have been labelled a failure (this being a combination of my boycotts of English tests and general indifference). But was my education a failure? Really?
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