Education Reform For Thee, But Not For Me: The Microsoft HR Version

by Mike the Mad Biologist, 12/3/13

One of the common themes in education ‘reform’ is that teacher performance can be improved by being more like a business (though hopefully not for Me?), as Bill Gates stated:

At Microsoft, we believed in giving our employees the best chance to succeed, and then we insisted on success. We measured excellence, rewarded those who achieved it and were candid with those who did not.

At Microsoft, this was manifested by the ‘stacked ranking’ model, where each unit ranked its employees. No matter how well each employee did, a certain percentage were guaranteed to be poor performers. Needless to say, this neither encouraged teamwork nor helped morale. This year, Microsoft axed this program and replaced it with a program centered on these concepts:

•More emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.
•More emphasis on employee growth and development.
•No more curve.
•No more ratings.

Meanwhile, what does this mean for Bill Gates’ attempt to transform U.S. education policies into failed Microsoft policies? Well:

Sue Altman at EduShyster vividly sums up the frustration of a nation of educators at this new development. “So let me get this straight. The big business method of evaluation that now rules our schools is no longer the big business method of evaluation? And collaboration and teamwork, which have been abandoned by our schools in favor of the big business method of evaluation, is in?”…

keep reading and see all links at Mike the Mad Biologist


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