Reflection:  Di NKRI sekolah adalah salah satu obyek bisnes utama kaum elite 
berkuasa, jadi jangan diutik-utik masalahnya nanti mereka rugi dan bangkrut.

Schools are not businesses

Publish Date: Tuesday,31 March, 2009, at 12:19 PM Doha Time

By Wayne Au, Bill Bigelow and David Levine/New York
We should stop treating our schools as businesses.
Since the early 20th century, prominent business leaders have acted on the 
belief that since they are good at making money, they are the most qualified 
people to decide how to best educate the young.

Entranced by the power and efficiency of American industry, many educational 
leaders have looked to these businessmen for leadership and for models of 
operation. They have tried to govern school systems as if they were 
corporations, organise schools as if they were something akin to factories and 
orient education toward testing and tracking students toward presumed "real 
world" destinies.
Today's mantra is to allow the much-ballyhooed magic of the market to solve 
educational problems. Thus the emphasis on consumer choice among schools 
through vouchers or charters or plans to pay teachers based on test-score 

There are many flaws inherent in imagining that schools will work well once 
they adopt factory or free-market models. Perhaps most fundamental is the 
presumption that schools work best when they emulate business.
But schools are not businesses.
When they flourish, they are living communities defined by powerful and caring 
Students are not things to be produced. They are human beings who are learning 
and growing in ways that are too complex for any standardised scores to truly 

Nor are teachers mere robots that drill students in how to take a test. The 
most talented and dedicated teacher is better nourished by a supportive work 
culture than by narrow appeals to individual self-interest, which pit teacher 
against teacher.
The purposes of schooling should not be degraded into privatised preparation 
toward the fattest paycheque.
Clearly, schools should prepare students to earn decent livelihoods. But just 
as importantly, they should prepare students to look toward - and even demand - 
jobs that are a major source of fulfillment and creative expression.

Schools should go far beyond preparing students for work. There are many 
non-market (perhaps even anti-market) lessons that schools impart: They 
inculcate an appreciation of the arts, establish healthy habits of exercise, 
teach co-operation, promote citizenship and show our children how to live 
together peacefully.

If schools do these tasks well, students when they become adults are much more 
likely to participate in socially positive ways, such as creating art and 
music, preventing domestic violence, working for racial equality, promoting 
clean energy and opposing war.
We have to remember, education is a humane and human process with social values 
beyond the bottom line. Business leaders have no expertise in this quest, and 
business models do not apply.

For that matter, now that casino capitalism has imploded, isn't it time to stop 
looking to the corporate elite for advice on how to run the schools? These 
"experts" - the bankers and corporate CEOs - couldn't even manage the one thing 
they are supposed to be good at: running their own businesses.

Educators should shed their subordinate status and sense of inferiority. 
Schools work best when teachers - in dialogue with parents and other citizens - 
design the educational experience, not corporate officials.- MCT

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