Friday, April 18, 2008

Revolving doors

FAA officials often are former execs of the airlines they now regulate.

Education officials are often former employees of the schools they now regulate.

Which is the actual, "shocking" headline in today's Tennessean? The former. Somehow, it's a headline maker when FAA officials have a conflict of interest but it's an asset when education officials have that same conflict of interest. They don't call it that though, it's called 'experience' and it's become an essential qualifier for positions on the school board and in community groups charged with improving the system, for Dept. of Education staffers and just about anyone else interacting with the system.

The article goes on to say: What the education industry wants from government it often gets, and no wonder. The people who work in schools one day can become education executives the next -- and vice versa. (snip) The industry's revolving-door relationship with the education industry is under fresh scrutiny after two education officials accused...

Oh, wait, no..."What the airline industry wants from Washington it often gets, and no wonder..."

Heads up, folks. Often the very people that create the public school mess have got jobs advising and fixing the problems they helped create. They act as hedges of protection and their alliances with the public education system too often keep them from cleaning house.

Conflict of interest is no better in the education field than it is in the aviation field. Customers in both industries fail to get to the destinations on their ticket if real accountability isn't part of the system.

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