Schools Are Not Businesses

BlueberriesSchools are not Businesses (and Kids Are Not Blueberries)

I’m a sucker for a great story, and here’s one I want to share. (from Diane Ravitch’s Reign of Error, pp. 300-301)
Listen to this story!

A businessman named Jamie Vollmer was known for producing superpremium blueberry ice cream utilizing nothing but the best ingredients.  He had the hubris to lecture teachers about how to improve schools.  One of the teachers rose during the question and answer session and had this great interaction with him (she was definitely  more quick witted than I have ever been.

She asked him “when you are standing on your receiving dock, and you see an inferior shipment of blueberries arrive, what do you do?”  To his credit, he didn’t lie.  “I send them back.”   She replied “We can never send back our blueberries.  We take them big, small, rich, poor, gifted, exceptional, abused, frightened, confident, homeless, rude, and brilliant.  We take them  with ADHD, junior rheumatoid arthritis, and English as a second language. We take them all, every one. And that is why, Mr. Vollmer, is why it’s not a business.  It’s a school.

Tweet: Schools aren't businesses & kids aren't blueberries - @dianeravitch via @ctrteachered

If you get kids thinkingCan we improve how we work with all those kinds of blueberries?  Of course.  Should we use the fact that the Blueberry won’t sit still as an excuse for poor results (as I was told by a previous teacher of my son)?  No, that’s not acceptable.  But these blueberries are our blueberries; we don’t just throw them away.

Jared Gellert is the executive director for CITE. CITE trains Teachers, Counselors, and Administrators in NYC and Long Island, including Suffolk. Weekend courses. Tailored for working professionals. For more information, call 877-922-2483

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon
Sign up for our Email Newsletter

For Email Marketing you can trust

Tweet: Schools aren't businesses & kids aren't blueberries - @dianeravitch via @ctrteachered