Thursday, April 23, 2009

More on the McKinsey Report Debate

Pondiscio gets into the McKinsey Report debate over at CK:
Teachers, raise your hand if you chose your profession because you wanted to raise GDP? Anyone??

Here's a response I posted there. I think it's more concise and clear about how I feel about the report than my previous posts here on TP or over at Burell's blog.
I think the report said that GDP would have risen ‘if’ several achievement gaps would have been closed. Who doesn’t want to close achievement gaps?

And I think in terms of ‘performance’, the report notes Finland and South Korea specifically because of the success rates in education in those two countries with regards specifically to MATH and SCIENCE.

For the amount of money we all pay, both for public and private education, the US still basically sucks at math compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Don’t we want to change that?

Friedman and the McKinsey report may not be the best messengers, but in the haze of big money and big economics that cloud this report, there is actually some stuff we ought to look at much more closely.

Robert's original post states:
Look, everyone gets the connection between education, income and productivity. But economic arguments, however troubling, will neither win hearts and minds among teachers, nor create the “sense of urgency and follow-through” Friedman wants to see.

I would agree, except that at work today, two out of the three times I had conversations with teachers it was over this issue and they thought this IS the sort of thing that would create a “sense of urgency and follow-through”.

Folks are really attuned to what's going on in the economy right now. It will be interesting to see if TF's op-ed has any traction with the majority middle-class U.S. teaching profession.

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