We know what Donald Trump would do.
There’s been a lot in the news lately about Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s plan for improving education in America. Interestingly, he hasn’t really claimed any credit, to my knowledge, for Massachusetts regularly ranking as one of the Top Five states on various measures on student achievement and levels of education. He acts like he was Governor of Mississippi (which probably helps help among some circles). As far as I know, the biggest headlines made in respect to education in MA was his claim that Obama spent too much time at Harvard. Yes, indeed.
I recently read a Business Week article about the “Three Types of People to Fire Immediately” and wondered What Would Romney Do (WWRD)? Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, it is an interesting thought experiment to consider whether Mr. Romney would try to invest his lowest performing students in a culture of student achievement, or would he instead choose to fire the “bad kids” and replace them…or simply shut everything down. [Disclaimer: I watched "Lean on Me" starring Morgan Freeman during November of my first year when I was pretty distraught. Admittedly, I enjoyed the "You Are Dismissed" scene initially. I think it's critical that we first give children a true chance to succeed rather than giving up on them for failing in a flawed system that is stacked against them and subsequently blaming them for turning to street crime, etc.]
1. The Victims
Business-Speak: “Can you believe what they want us to do now? And of course we have no time to do it. I don’t get paid enough for this. The boss is clueless.”
Student-Speak: “OMG, why are you making us do more work? You never give us enough time on our independent practice! I have cheerleadering practice AND choir rehearsal tonight. She don’t teach me nothin’, so I ain’t finna do this homework! You don’t like me!”
2. The Nonbelievers
Business-Speak: “Why should we work so hard on this? Even if we come up with a good idea, the boss will probably kill it. If she doesn’t, the market will. I’ve seen this a hundred times before.”
Student-Speak: “I can’t get an A anyway, so I’m not going to try. I can’t do this, I’m thuggin’! The state test is stupid…it doesn’t even count for anything except your job. You just want to make your money and get paid. I’m gonna drop out next year. You don’t like me!”
3. The Know-It-Alls
Business-Speak: “You people obviously don’t understand the business we are in. The regulations will not allow an idea like this, and our stakeholders won’t embrace it. Don’t even get me started on our IT infrastructure’s inability to support it. And then there is the problem of ….”
Student-Speak: “We did this already in 5th Grade! I already know how to do this- I got those questions wrong on purpose. No one else is working / everyone else is talking! If I don’t pass I’m going to tell the principal and my momma’s going to call the superintendent. You just don’t like me!”
In the business world, there may be cases of companies that are beyond saving; however, I hope that all educators involved in the business of educating our nation’s children having nothing but the greatest expectations and the highest hopes for ALL children.