Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Let It Go LetItGo...

I had a revelation in the shower this morning.
(What? Isn't that where all revelations occur?)
People keep trying to run education like business. Cut out the deadwood, make sure that people who don't perform are fired, whatever.
Business, see, is not just output. It is also input. And the quality of the output depends, in no small (but maybe no large either) part, on the input.
But no one is policing the input. If the student is a legacy, he's accepted, regardless of how capable he is. If a student is a famous/rich person, or child thereof, she's accepted. If a student is an athelete...
This is probably obvious. Well, no. I take that back. It may be obvious to us, but it's clearly not to people who want to treat education like business. And it's not just college & up; while there's no screening of who-can-get-in in public schools, there's also no room for the difference in the input. A refiner wouldn't treat aluminum ore like iron ore (let's just pretend there's a plant that processes both. Or not; actually, it doesn't matter.) A financier wouldn't treat bond information from her dentist the same way she'd treat bond information from the WSJ. Yet educators are expected to treat children the same. Sure, there's divisions of "bright," "normal," and "slow," but what about when kids with lisps get classed with kids with ADHD? They're not "slow" in the same way.
(The title refers to not having the entry be perfect, because I, like luckybuzz, can't let anything go.)
(No, you're right, she didn't say that, but that's what I thought of in reference to myself when I read her entry.)


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