The Fables of Aesop is out now!

One Easy Way to Destroy a School (or Community, or Life)

If I wanted to destroy an effective school, I would weasel my way into the headmaster position and then change nothing, not the curriculum, not the teacher development plan, not the pedagogy, not even the grievance policy, except for one thing, and everybody would think it was quite impressive and professional.

If I wanted to destroy a school (or any community for that matter) all I would do is politely require that from this time forward everything would be assessed by quantitative measurements. Oh, what fun it would be to watch the bewildered teachers lose control of their classrooms, to watch the confused students lose interest in their lessons, and to watch the parents fall into endless anxiety about their children’s futures.

Apparently, my friends over at Gutenberg are feeling something similar. Take a look here.

Modern management theory follows Plato’s Sophist, Thrasymachus, demanding that everything be “certain and precise” and turning it into the demoralizing mantra, “What gets measured, gets done.” Plato gives us a better, more Biblical (yes, I just said that) alternative when he says, “what is honored is cultivated, and that which has no honor is neglected.”

Can’t measure it? Kill it. Especially if the reason you can’t measure it is because it is eternal or infinite.

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