This week in the Los Angeles Times, Naomi Schaefer Riley describes the Broad Foundation's fellowship program that puts young, skilled executives from the private world into top positions in urban school districts. Many experience culture shock once dropped into these bureaucracies where they must contend with "antiquated accounting systems, personnel with the most basic training in word-processing programs, [and] enormous bureaucracies with no clear statement of how people get promoted from one position to another." Most distressing for Broad Fellows who hail from the private sector: "[T]hat public school systems pretend they don't have to operate like other companies and organizations, that they can get the best people without giving them incentives, that their funding comes from heaven, that being a public employee charged with doing nice things for children means never having to answer to shareholders - in this case, taxpayers."
"Ed board could use some Wal-Mart smarts," by Naomi Schaefer Riley, Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2005
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