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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We Need To Moneyball This Thing

Scientist have been sciencing education for years, yet there still seems to be a myriad of unanswered questions, answers that are abused by those with an agenda, and queries that have not been adequately pondered. Before we can begin to discuss the answers to any of these questions, we must decide on a common goal. The main issues seems to be educators and political leaders desire a different product from education and we use one instrument to measure both.

I'm not sure what these are, but I don't think they will test well.

Since Thomas Jefferson said that democracy needed an educated populace to function, it has been the goal of free public education to produce well informed citizens/white, male land-owners able to make intelligent decisions about how to best govern the country. The conflict arises when we are being measured by government entities that don't seem particularly interested in good citizenship. Our students are pitted against students from all over the world, and I am willing wager that Chinese and Finnish schools are not overly interested in producing U.S. citizens. I am forced to conclude that we are supposed to be produce engines, not for Ford trucks, but for the economy.

"We love the electoral college!"

We need to Moneyball education. Teachers need to realize we are not be asked to create fine young people, life-long learners, or model citizens. We deal in human capitol. Our client is corporate America, and they demand good workers. Not drones and automata, but workers that will help them turn a profit.

Now before you chuck your iPad across the room (into the appropriately cushioned iPad chucking area) and start calling me an idiot, I would like to suggest that this is not a bad thing. Wealth is an accurate gauge of success. Our puritanical forefathers thought wealth indicate God's grace, which is exactly right if by grace you mean intelligence, ingenuity, and endurance. Given the nature and history of this country we would have to figure "park effect." When such things as parent education and social class, gender, and psychological makeup are factored out we should be able to figure how much value a person has. Insurance companies do it all the time.

Once we figure each students value to society, then society should pay back a certain percentage, say 60%. So if Microsoft hires one of our graduates then that school should get a signing bonus equal to 60% of the profit that human will produce. (I'm not entirely sure what to do if the product becomes a burden on society.)
"One data processor please."

This goal would also align with student desires. Very few of them desire knowledge for knowledge's sake. They go to school so that they can get a job. This is so import that it often has to be spelled out J-O-B. We need to all agree on a goal. The reason Moneyball worked for Oakland is because they were able to shift their focus to the real goal which was getting on base. Education should be producing money-makers, and schools should be judged based upon how much wealth their students produce above expectations.

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