Cut school admins

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2007

Friends, consider this not a letter to the editor but a lead for investigation. Upon reading your editorial this morning "Who Cares," I believe that apathy is directly connected to powerlessness.

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People get the feeling that they are just working with the edges and can't really affect things. I urge you to check out "Rolling Back Government," a speech by Maurice McTigue of New Zealand, available at Imprimis.com, April 2004 in the archives. McTigue pointed out - among many other good ideas for governing - that New Zealand had changed its educational results from being 15 percent below comparable nations to 14 to 15 percent above by doing one simple thing. They realized they were spending far too much in administration, and eliminated all upper levels of it. Instead, they give a lump sum of money to each of their 4,500 schools, and give carte blanche authority over spending the money to a board elected by parents of students at that school.

Many principles are involved: schools' responsiveness to the community, knowledge of what's really needed, a sense of true authority leading to greater involvement, and much more sheer resources to do what's needed due to eliminating administrators.

John Jensen

Juneau



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