How Business Leaders Can Strengthen American Education
July 9, 2014
A short report on the work being done by the Harvard Business School’s U.S. Competitiveness Project reflecting on the $4 billion firms invest in US education (out of $600 billion). They are critical of checkbook philanthropy (‘have some computers, kids’) and think money spent on local coordination would have big payoffs.
So I went and looked at a few of their admirably crisp reports (they are, after all, targeted at business leaders; brevity please). I searched for mentions of libraries. Not many and then in contexts like this:
“In interviewing many education and business leaders for this report, we noted an odd disconnect. Few educators want more school libraries or volunteer teachers from businesses, and many want support with strategic and systemic issues in their schools and districts. At the same time, business leaders want to see faster improvement in student outcomes. Yet many of them give philanthropic dollars for libraries and the like and encourage their employees to volunteer in schools. This disconnect reflects, in large part, poor communication and weak partnerships between business leaders and educators.”
Lasting Impact: A Business Leader’s Playbook for Supporting America’s Schools page 25 (Michalko)