Steve Jobs Blasts Teachers Unions
Apple’s CEO has a problem with public schools that he sees as rooted in the unions that prevent principals from firing underperforming teachers.
Even though Jobs shared a Texas stage with Dell’s co-founder and CEO, Michael Dell, the iconic Apple executive stole the show at an education reform conference. He criticized teachers unions and textbook publishers during a talk that received applause from attendees.
An AP report on his remarks cited Jobs’ observation that no amount of technology could turn around classroom performance. Jobs compared the inability to fire poor teachers to a small business that couldn’t get rid of its bad employees.
He called out unions for specific criticism:
“I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way,” Jobs said.
“This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy.”
Some observers commenting on Jobs’ remarks saw money as the cure. Said Robert Scoble:
If you want better schools, pay teachers $80,000 a year or more, AND give the staff power to get rid of bad apples (bad pun, given the cause of today