“Steve Job’s reported ‘lambast’ of teacher unions last week during an ‘education reform conference’ does not reflect a new stance for Jobs,” Donna Bogatin blogs for ZDNet.
“Seventeen years prior, Jobs put forth a similar educational philosophy for an Oral History Interview at the Smithsonian Institution,” Bogatin reports. “Although Jobs’ remarks last week were summarized and headlined by the Associated Press as ‘Apple CEO lambasts teachers unions,’ the totality of his thoughts on the U.S. education system encompassed much more.
Bogatin presents some excerpts from Jobs’ Oral History Interview at the Smithsonian Institution. A sample of Steve Jobs’ comments circa 1995:
…the vast majority of the public are pretty mindless most of the time. I think the school situation has a parallel here when it comes to technology. It is so much more hopeful to think that technology can solve the problems that are more human and more organizational and more political in nature, and it ain’t so. We need to attack these things at the root, which is people and how much freedom we give people, the competition that will attract the best people. Unfortunately, there are side effects, like pushing out a lot of 46 year old teachers who lost their spirit fifteen years ago and shouldn’t be teaching anymore. I feel very strongly about this. I wish it was as simple as giving it over to the computer.
The unions are the worst thing that ever happened to education because it’s not a meritocracy. It turns into a bureaucracy, which is exactly what has happened. The teachers can’t teach and administrators run the place and nobody can be fired. It’s terrible.
Bogatin writes, “Mr. Jobs, I lend you my support, in what I am calling your ‘entrepreneurial education’ philosophy. I do not write as a disinterested observer, I have served as adjunct faculty in institutions of higher learning and, subsequently, have been required to be a member of a teachers union.”
More of Jobs’ comments in the full article here.
Steve Jobs & Rush Limbaugh agree: U.S. public schools are ‘unionized in the worst possible way’ – February 20, 2007
Apple CEO Steve Jobs blasts teacher unions, says US schools are ‘unionized in the worst possible way’ – February 16, 2007