Innovation In Higher Ed, But In K-12? Plus, Groundhog Day In Gotham

Ben Wildavsky and Bob Litan with an edited conversation with experts and practitioners around higher ed innovation (pdf).  And Friedman Foundation with a look at the same in K-12 related to school choice (pdf).  But I see a lot less “greenfielding” in charter schooling and school choice in the sense of radically different school designs.  Most of what we see is policy greenfield – new ideas around governance and policy – but the practices of the schools are for the most part not revolutionary – the good ones just execute much better and more consistently.

Also, tiresome back and forth on charter schools in NYC.  Check out the PSA, too.  (BW does research for NYC Charter Center).

6 Responses to “Innovation In Higher Ed, But In K-12? Plus, Groundhog Day In Gotham”

  1. Stanislav Says:

    Greenfield school modeling is a good step in educational innovation. “Today many greenfield school models exist in school networks.”* These networks permit schools to mobilize economies of scale.” Today, when we see that education is in the revolutionary/innovation period, it’s important to rethink the process of how schools work.

    * Quotation Source: The Greenfield School Revolution and School Choice

  2. jeffrey miller Says:

    I looked at the Friedman Report, and I must credit the “researchers” for including this at the outset: “All individuals have opinions, and many organizations (like our own) have specific missions or philosophical orientations. Scientific methods, if used correctly and followed closely in well-designed studies, should neutralize these opinions and orientations. research rules and methods minimize bias. We believe rigorous procedural rules of science prevent a researcher’s motives, and an organization’s particular orientation, from pre-determining results.”

    Like this kind of bias? “Moreover, universal choice is the only way to create an institutional context in which regular public schools will innovate and improve in response to greenfield school models.”

    Or this: “By putting parents back in charge of education, universal school choice would focus the urgency in schools needing change, facilitating the emergence of an institutional culture that would experience…” [including magic ponies for all the kids to ride].

    Putting parents back in charge. Uh huh. What a pile. The Friedman folks want it both ways but that’s not surprising considering the contradictions inherent in Friedman’s own career of scamming the world with a failed economic theory.

    Hey, let’s trying something truly revolutionary, follow Finland’s lead and put the professionals in charge. What? Teachers are a bunch of union-loving, government-worker lazy bums who caused our economic collapse?

    Sometimes I just have to wonder how this country got to be so stupid. Oh yeah, maybe a flawed educational system. Or, the overwhelming influence of parents and the media indoctrinating people into failed beliefs and endless, mindless, pointless amusements.

  3. Bill Jones Says:

    Innovation at the university level? Really? PROVE IT.

    I work at a university in a physics lab. And I have been here for 12 years. And honestly, the liberal arts are taught the SAME way they were when I was in school. That is called stagnation.

    A funny story. Arnie is traveling the country holding meeting where he asks this profound question, “How do we get more highly qualified teachers into low income, inner city schools? Why won’t they volunteer?”

    A colleague of mine has a daughter who investigated TFA and this is what she found. With a degree in microbiology from Berkeley she would enter the TFA pipeline with NO guarantee of where she would work. She would have to commit to two years. There was NO guarantee of pay or benefits.

    Now, step back for a minute. My sailors got a better pay and benefits package than that. Heck, my sailors SIGNED CONTRACTS that guaranteed them certain schools and rates in a number of years.

    So, Arnie and Wendy need to wake up. If you want high calibre people to step up for those jobs you will HAVE TO TREAT THEM WELL and PAY THEM WELL.

    There is no such thing as dirt bag superman in our country. Good people DEMAND TO BE TREATED WELL. To prove my point, look at the never do wells, Arnie and Wendy. My, my, look at how they have feathered their own nests.

  4. Bill Jones Says:

    Risk,reward trade-off.
    Risk, reward trade-off
    Risk, reward trade-off
    Risk, reward trade-off

    Rational people respond to incentives.
    Rational people respond to incentives.
    Rational people respond to incentives.

    Rational people do not respond to invective.
    Rational people do not respond to invective.
    Rational people do not respond to invective.
    Rational people do not respond to invective.

    High risk and no reward attracts poor talent.
    High risk and no reward attracts poor talent.
    High risk and no reward attracts poor talent.
    High risk and no reward attracts poor talent.

    Education leaders do not earn performance pay.
    Education leaders do not earn performance pay.
    Education leaders do not earn performance pay.
    Education leaders do not earn performance pay.

    Education leaders have buy-out contracts.
    Education leaders have buy-out contracts.
    Education leaders have buy-out contracts.
    Education leaders have buy-out contracts.

    Arnie and Wendy, now do you wonder why there is a morale problem?

  5. Bill Jones Says:

    In any introductory economics textbook at least 70 page are dedicated to market failure. One of the chief causes is information failure. That is euphemism for, “Choice sometimes DOES NOT WORK.”

    The entire school choice innovation is bound to fail. There is no mechanism by which information can be reliably promulgated that will give parents timely information about the performance of their child and the performance of the school.

    Choice does not guarantee the best outcome. It never has, and no economics textbook asserts that. So, the Friedman institute is full of baloney. Might as well call it the anti-friction institute.

    Economics is opinion and theology masquerading as fact and the scientific method. It is pure garbage that is only remarkable because of its repeated and disastrous failures.

  6. Bill Jones Says:

    To Mr, Hanushek,

    Your field of study and life’s work is only remarkable for how consistently it has failed to explain any phenomena or provide even the most basic predictive capabilities.

    In other words Eric, you practice faux science that really ought to be banished from our universities and taught at the local liquor store.

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