Human endeavor vs. business transaction

Contributed by CMS teacher Justin Parmenter

With new education leadership in Washington and Raleigh, it was only a matter of time before the old “Why aren’t we running schools more like businesses?” argument resurfaced.

BestNC is an organization that lobbies for pro-business education reform. On Monday its President Brenda Berg published a piece on EdNC claiming that improvements at Charlotte Mecklenburg’s own Shamrock Gardens were due to private sector-like strategies such as giving additional pay to those taking on leadership roles. It was a misleading article written with a specific goal in mind.

As most of us who are plugged in to education in Charlotte know, [MecklenburgACTS chair] Pamela Grundy is the one to talk with if you want to know what was really behind Shamrock Garden’s remarkable transformation. Pam wrote a great response piece on EdNC explaining that the real catalysts behind growth at Shamrock Gardens were economic and racial integration, engaging curriculum, and a strong sense of community.

Our work as teachers and other school professionals is a human endeavor, not a series of business transactions. Our students aren’t numbers, they are people, and they’re most likely to succeed in schools that find a way to nurture strong relationships and a love of learning. It’s a recipe for success the private sector may never understand.