Eli Broad types believe school districts should be more like businesses

Testimony Action Mtg 7/15/21

by Lynda Rubin

After wealthy public education disrupter Eli Broad died, Diane Ravitch described meeting him. “He explained to me that he didn’t know anything about education but knew management.” She continued, ”Broad used his money and influence to put his people into important urban districts, even paying for staff to surround them and supplements to their salary…”  Eli Broad types believe school districts should be more like businesses, because they don’t understand you just can’t cut out or sell off the less productive parts of our educational mission without far-reaching repercussions. Closing schools leads to fewer neighborhood anchors for families and the City. Parents and school personnel create bonds and familiarity unknown to the “business” model.

I’m continually confused by the priorities this Board and Administration have regarding the education of children because you make policy for students and families as if they’re all interchangeable, not individual. Busing schedules, increasing on-line learning and standardized data when learning is best when it’s experiential, sharing with other students and can make sense to them. 

Anyone who has ever met a successful teacher or principal has met someone with mad management skills, flexibility, an understanding of specific surrounding community strengths and the will to make it happen because student successes are personal triumphs. 

I can’t even count the number of times Dr. Hite and his staff, introduced how to return to schools or changes in the school day with glossy PR power-points only to have to publicly walk them back when parents and teachers insistently point out the problems to their only source, the news media. Parents and teachers have been misinformed or not informed about building health and safety and deserve accurate, up to date info. When the conditions will affect parents and staff, they deserve to have real input before the change is decided. You always claim you have parent support through surveys, but from reading news accounts you always seem to miss an important contingent.