ERIC Number: ED204836
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
The Curriculum and the Businesslike School.
Vickery, Tom Rusk
Although schools are not businesses, demands for accountability have led schools to adopt businesslike practices that may be inimical to education. Unlike businesses, schools do not have unambiguous, superordinate objectives (such as profit). Furthermore, they cannot easily reject umprofitable customers or change their products, cannot restrict themselves to a homogeneous student population in order to make possible a uniform process and output, and cannot operate under managers untrained in the goods and services to be produced. Despite these differences, schools do act like businesses in a number of ways. They maintain corporate-like secrecy about the different costs of resources allocated to the instruction of each individual student, they manipulate the curriculum to improve public relations, and they shunt students from one learning track or class to another to save resources. Schools also resemble businesses when they define their educational products narrowly (to increase the appearance of accountability while decreasing the need to be accountable), and when they proceed as though the school's responsibility consisted in efficiently performing its traditional tasks and keeping the community happy while leaving the hard decisions as to the role of education to others. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).