What kind of person could you get to make broad, sweeping statements on topics about which he’s obviously seriously uninformed? Steve Jobs.
AUSTIN — Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs lambasted teacher unions today, claiming no amount of technology in the classroom would improve public schools until principals could fire bad teachers.Jobs compared schools to businesses with principals serving as CEOs.
“What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn’t get rid of people that they thought weren’t any good?” he asked to loud applause during an education reform conference.
“Not really great ones because if you’re really smart you go, ‘I can’t win.'”
In a rare joint appearance, Jobs shared the stage with competitor Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Inc. Both spoke to the gathering about the potential for bringing technological advances to classrooms.
“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.
Regardless of the situation in other states, public schools have more than enough authority to get rid of bad teachers in Texas. I would love for Jobs to give one example where a Texas public school could not fire a teacher even though they have documentation to prove the person is incompetent.
Notice, I used the word “documentation.” I think Michael Dell is much closer to the truth.
Dell also blamed problems in public schools on the lack of a competitive job market for principals.
If a principal does her job appropriately, she can get rid of an ineffective teacher. We’re not talking about mounds of documentation here. Does Steve Jobs just walk up to an employee and fire him without first notifying him of performance problems? Surely he expects his managers to notify employees there is a problem and give them the opportunity to improve before being fired?
Or is Apple so successful that it can afford to train and invest in new employees to replace those fired without trying to improve performance and protect the investment already made in that employee? After all, what kind of person is going to be willing to work for a company that fires employees with giving them a chance to address their short-comings? I thinkI would go apply for a job at Dell.