Everyone seems to recognize that the public education system in the United States is a joke, and that teachers unions are a major part of the problem. That “everyone” included Steve Jobs:
[Steve] Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.
Jobs’ specific idea about increasing the quantity of school time will be good for students from dysfunctional (“low socio-economic status”) families. For everyone else, just moving past a point where we trust teachers and principals to set education policy will be a big improvement.
Steve Jobs was a liberal, and that he (and Bill Gates, another liberal) are convinced that American education is broken in part because of unions shows how only a few knee-jerk bloggers even care about the teachers unions any more. One member of the knee-jerk crew writes at Daily Kos
If you were into the whole Steve Jobs cult of personality, hey, that’s great. But let’s lay off the hagiography for a second. Steve Jobs was just another wealthy douchebag who fancied himself an expert on education, just like his wealthy douchebag buddy Bill Gates:
Related: The U.S. Economy and Public Education, by Bill Gates