Our Crooked Broker Society

Harold Jarche, Weblog, Apr 27, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Harold Jarche puts together a chart offered by Dave Pollard and a list offered by Roger Schank and in so doing creates a pretty good explanation for some of the ills of the educational system. "Are teachers the desperate suppliers," he asks, "exploited by the school system which has a virtual monopoly on education jobs? Are publishers, testing companies and universities the procurers who gouge the addicted parents, looking for any advantage in a shrinking middle class?" He suggests that local control would fragment this system - "'Small pieces, loosely joined' may be the right strategy for educational reform." But I'm less sure - in certain hands, the decentralization movement (I'm reminded of the Charlottetown Accord) seems more like a strategy of "divide and conquer". Unless students are granted freedom and autonomy - which, on this picture, would allow them to employ teachers directly, without the exploiter and procurer intervening - local control would not improve the picture.
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