On her Ed Week blog Deb Meier makes a good but incomplete point:
P.S. Breaking News: The Sunday New York Times headline—”A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trade in Derivatives”—intrigues me. How come the business community is so supportive of increasing regulation in the educational system and against increased regulation of banking, while pretending that schools would be better if only they were more like “us” (bankers)? …
Leave aside for a moment that neither educators nor bankers are monolithic in their views on these things, it’s still worth discussing the general point. But isn’t the inverse true as well? Why is the education community so enamored with ideas like self-regulation that haven’t worked very well in fields like finance? We don’t trust bankers when they say ‘trust us,’ but why should we trust our field more? Are we somehow better? I doubt it. Perhaps it would be more useful to stop ascribing different degrees of goodness (or badness) to people in different fields and just acknowledge that human nature is what it is and all fields need at least some sensible regulation?
Also, it is worth noting that most of the conversation in education is really about re-regulating rather than increasing or decreasing regulation per se. Education is highly-regulated and as a public market will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The underlying issue today is whether the focus of that regulatory burden should shift toward performance and away from compliance and, if so, how?