In this rapidly changing world it is critical for schools to adapt, to change in ways that will better prepare students for their future. So, the question is not whether schools should change, but rather how they should change. Based on my observations as an insider in the education world, but also as a newbie who brings a fresh perspective, I have a few ideas of changes to be made, which I shall henceforth present in an intermittent and seemingly random series of posts; here is the first.
Change 1: Hire People, Not Services
Hiring a service is like renting an apartment: once your lease is up, you’re left with nothing buy an empty checking account, all the while you had to live by the limitations of sharing a resource. Hiring a person, on the other hand, is like buying a house: take good care of it and you’ll likely get a return on your investment, while also being able to make any needed modifications to make the house your home.
School districts often outsource work, e.g. website design, to businesses who by their very nature as a contractor serve multiple organizations. Services are generally prepackaged, with limited customization, as businesses need to be able to serve all their clients while still being able to make a profit. However, rather than paying tens of thousands of dollars for cookie-cutter products, school districts should pay tens of thousands of dollars to hire an employee who has a vested interest in the district and can create products custom to the needs of it’s teachers and students.