Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Steve Jobs Has Guts

I just gained even more respect for Steve Jobs. He just hit the nail on the head as to what is wrong with the educational system in America: 

Steve Jobs has guts — enough guts to speak his mind about what he thinks is wrong with public education even at the risk of harming his business interests.

In a speech on Friday, the chief executive officer of Apple and Disney honcho declared: "I believe that what's wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way."

The problem with unionization, Mr. Jobs argued, is that it has constrained schools from attracting and retaining the best teachers and from dismissing the less effective ones. This, in turn, deters quality people from seeking to become principals and superintendents. "What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn't get rid of people that they thought weren't any good? Not really great ones because if you're really smart you go, ‘I can't win,'" Mr. Jobs said. He concluded by saying, "This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy."

There is a price to be paid for this kind of frank analysis and Steve Jobs knows it. "Apple just lost some business in this state, I'm sure," Mr. Jobs said. Of course, Apple sells a large portion of its computers to public school systems. By taking a stance against school unionization, Mr. Jobs may lose some school sales for Apple.

He is completely right. All teachers get paid the same regardless of how well they do their job. What could be less American?

Don't get me wrong, I have good friends who are public school teachers. And they are great people, I just wish they were rewarded for their skill as educators instead of being burnt out while simply waiting for tenure.

Source: Steve Jobs Has Guts