Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Craig still rolling 

Craig Westover performs a lobotomy on the latest Nick Coleman column about funding of inner-city schools. Saves me some work. Here's the bottomline quote:
A government-run education system must concern itself with the system as a whole. It must use collective statistics to judge its adequacy. It must homogenize everything from curriculum to funding mechanisms to ensure no one is offended or feels slighted, which also means no one is satisfied.

Inherent problems of bureaucratic management run contrary to the personalized education every parent wants for his or her child. And despite that fact, the education establishment puts preservation of the system above the welfare of students.
As I tell people here, all education is retail -- it's like campaigning in the New Hampshire primary. You have to go to each door and listen. I'm busy advising new majors this week, and no two are alike. It's a lot of work (I've done six in the last two days), but we haven't developed the technology yet that allows mass customization of education. Not that it might not happen some day, but I think it's highly unlikely to happen in a government school for exactly the reason explained in Craig's last sentence.