Traditional wisdom suggests that effective production and use of technology drives costs down. The more we make of something, and the better we get at it, the cheaper it becomes to produce and buy. But what if a thing or an experience, if done well, exceeding the expectation of the consumer and contributing lifelong value, can only become more inefficient? And how does this affect faith-based schools?
I noted in the first post on this topic—the presence and impact of professionalism in private schools—that two upheavals have altered the ways in which professional standards are defined in faith-based schools. The first is the erosion of the social standing of spiritually oriented vocations, including private school teachers. Not only is this trend driven by secularization, but the economics of private … Read More
When I ask small groups of teachers in faith-based schools why they teach “here and not elsewhere,” invariably someone says, “Because God called me here.” Often, more than one person in the same interview will claim divine direction as their fundamental motivation. Erik Ellefsen, a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE), asks good questions. … Read More
Introduction and Podcast with Chuck Evans: I had the opportunity to have another conversation with Chuck Evans of Better Schools about his work with school boards, heads of schools, and his recent stint as an interim head of school. I’ve written many times about the lack of stability in leadership and the consternation that heads of schools consistently discuss … Read More
Surveying a private school with plenty of money, strong enrollment, a winning football team, and selective college admissions during an accreditation visit, a colleague said to me, “Everything’s great when everything’s great.” What he meant, of course, is that over time, even model schools encounter difficulty. It might be a sudden financial downturn, an employee scandal, student misconduct, or vitriolic … Read More
It’s been eleven years since I was a head of school. Eleven years since I dragged myself home after a late night board meeting to complain for two hours. Eleven years since my staff and I strategized about how to get a controversial policy adopted over the objections of “that” board member. Eleven years since I fielded a call from … Read More
In the last post on the CESA heads surveys, conducted in the spring of this year, we looked at this group of school leaders’ views of the educational marketplace, primarily its effect on enrollment and re-enrollment. We examined the phenomenon that despite the fact that 70% of the surveyed schools have grown in the past five years, some quite dramatically, … Read More
Increased competition within the schooling marketplace, combined with the shifting priorities of a new generation of parents, has rendered the fortunes of independent and parochial schools more uncertain than ever before. As we have noted here previously, as of just two years ago, private schools enrolled more than 10% fewer students than in 2000. And within that overall enrollment decline … Read More