Thursday, December 2, 2021


Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.


The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

"Best Business Practices" Questioned for Education


Monday, January 17, 2011   

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Some Tennessee educators are challenging the wisdom of politicians' promises to apply business principles to public education.

Newly inaugurated Gov. Bill Haslam touted his skills at running a major transportation service in his campaign, and promised to reform state government by using sound business practices to the delivery of government services. But Tennessee Education Association president Jera Summerford says forcing teachers to compete against each other for grants or merit pay is counterproductive.

"We know that schools that work best are schools where teachers work collaboratively and they support one another, and they learn from one another and they're not in any way set up to be competitive with one another. So, that's certainly a place where the business model does not apply."

Another difference, Summerford says, is that businesses' customers can choose where to spend their time and money, while students are legally obligated to go to school and have little say in the curricula and teaching style.

"The community does have certainly a say in what goes on in schools. They have that through their elected officials that govern their school districts and all the way up to the state government, but there's not that relationship between a provider and a client that there is in the business community."

Tennessee's recent success in the federal "Race to the Top" competition will provide merit money to recruit and retain educators. However, critics of "Race to the Top" say rewarding education reform is wasteful government spending.

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