This fact just astounded me.
It is hard to comprehend how vast and complicated the New York City public school system is. If you visited a school every week, it would take 44 years to visit them all. The city includes some of the richest neighborhoods in the country -- as well as some of the poorest; almost rural areas in Staten Island where children commute by yellow school bus and urban neighborhoods where children walk to school.
Cathie Black’s resignation as New York City schools chancellor after just three months on the job suggests it may be time to set aside two prevailing biases in the education reform community: that noneducators with strong management skills should be brought in to fix the “mess” that educators have made; and that the rigor of private sector experience will inevitably trump the skills of those toiling in the public sector.*****Her tenure also exposed the shortcomings of the cult of the private sector. Behind Ms. Black's appointment seemed to lie the assumption that surely, if someone had succeeded in the rough and tumble of the private market, doing well in the softer, less-well compensated public sector would, by comparison, be a piece of cake.
Back in the 60s and 70s there was a fad in business schools called the professional manager. This insanity held that if one knew the tenets of management, one could manage any entity.
When reality set in, it was discovered that in order to manage an engineering firm one should know some basics of engineering, likewise a mortuary or a casino or a strip joint etc.
Maybe we need to go through the cycle again. It seems we only learn things for twenty or thirty years and then need to relearn them.
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