September 18, 1996

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Vol. 16, Issue 03
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After three decades in public education, I continue to serve as a consultant to school system across the country. Initially, I meet with district-office administrators and involve them in identifying local problems, developing pertinent goals, and suggesting tentative strategies. Then, I meet with building principals, department supervisors, and classroom teachers to grasp their insights concerning the local problems. During these subsequent get-togethers, educators tend to be more relaxed and to openly discuss intimate perceptions of the "real" difficulties that exist and sometimes dominate the school context. Interestingly, these perceptions often suggest the existence of strong conflicts between central-office administrators and building-level personnel. Although political conflicts are part of most bureaucracies, an undefined factor seems to surface, especially as it relates to higher-level administration. I am referring to that obscure behavior called professional jealousy.
When Michael Milken, the junk bond king, was let out of prison, he said that he wanted to be involved in education because he considered it one of the biggest moneymakers for American business. He isn't alone. Christopher Whittle, the irrepressible father of Channel One, is now hard at work trying to lure potential investors to the Edison Project with the claim that one market point in the education market is worth $2.8 billion to any business savvy enough to figure out how to capture it.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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