The Big Three Car Companies, (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) have been around since the early 1900’s, just a bit more than 100 years. Blockbuster video started in the 1980’s about thirty years ago, and Blackberry phones came out in the early 2000’s about fifeteen years ago. At one point it was unfathomable that these three titans would fall. Now however, Blockbuster is gone, Blackberry is regulated to the recycling heap and an afterthought in the phone industry, and The Big Three car companies have been disrupted by the economy, challenges from across the ocean and new technology. They continue fighting to regain their global dominance but it is not an easy battle
The reason the above examples are important is because traditional public schools are in a similar position to those companies. Public schools are over 200 years old and just like these three former leaders of their respective business sectors, are facing a new challenger in the form of charter schools. And just like The Big Three, Blockbuster, and Blackberry they’re losing.
Public schools have been around so long that and the thinking so entrenched that there is a belief that no one can do it better. Like The Big Three, public schools are stuck in an industrial age mentality. Schools are still run by the ringing of a bell, just like they signaled a shift change in old car factories. That mentality doesn’t work anymore, change is here.
Like Toyota, charters came in and started running lean schools. They eagerly embraced new ideas like data driven decision making and were able to create schools based on particular community niches. Public schools like The Big Three continues to lurch into the new century struggling to play catch up.
Those with public school blinders on are refusing to see the education revolution. Like Netflix, Charters are the early adopters of a new social reality. They are not perfect but they are attempting to cater to their constituents needs. They have to in order to survive.
New thought processes are at play and the customers preference and ease of access to whatever they want is now the norm. Schools “on demand” in the form of school choice continues to disrupt public schools.
In the past public schools were the only game in town and so were able to treat families poorly or with complete disregard. This is no longer the case. The consumer is gaining more control and public schools like Blockbuster need to adapt or die.
Blackberry failed to see Apple as a threat. Public schools thought charters were cute when they first started. According to a pamphlet put out by the National Alliance for Charter Schools, charter schools have grown six fold in the last 15 years. That was before Betsy Devos, became Secretary of Education. The market is continuing to go in that direction and the speed of that change continues to grow.
Charter schools are not going anywhere. Public schools need to adapt and quickly. Old thinking needs to change or just like The Big Three, Blockbuster, and Blackberry public schools will eventually fall and there will be no bail out.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......