I read an interesting article in Fast Company, a business magazine. It discussed corporate involvement in public schools. It featured a new high school in West Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s School of the Future. Click here to read the complete article.
This is an interesting and certainly a controversial concept. Corporations argue that students don’t have the skills they need to work in today’s businesses. However, public education should never be a production line for just job training. It is important that students learn critical thinking, the skills necessary to deal with the many unknown situations that will be part of their lives, and an appreciation of the arts, literature, civics, some philosophy, and the other subjects that many don’t think are important.
Business and technical skills are also important. There is more to word processing than just entering text, more to spreadsheets than just adding columns of text, and so on. Students definitely need technical skills to compete and some basic business skills are also important.
Is it a good idea to let Microsoft into the public education system? The skills they teach are important. However, will these students transfer their Microsoft Office skills to the free, open source OpenOffice, or will they become slaves to Microsoft technology. My experience in the technical world is that many people become accustomed to the software that they learned and do not switch to other products.
Click here to view a list of companies that provide resources to public schools.
Corporations in public schools are an interesting concept that is not going to fade. Many believe that this is one way to improve public education. What are your thoughts?