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Book review: "The Black Board and the Bottom Line: Why Schools Can't be Businesses" by Larry Cuban
The book titled "The Black Board and the Bottom Line: Why Schools Can't be Businesses", written by a noted US scholar, Larry Cuban provides a fair analysis of the business-inspired schools and instructional programmes.

Barring a few exceptions, an active involvement of business in education often results in awful blunders, that is what the author of the book reveals.

According to the author of the book, the values set of business and education are different as summed up by him and are given below in brief.

  • In education, the 'ethics of service' is suppose to be the main value besides the job security, summers off and social status.

  • In business, 'repeating financial rewards and helping others' along with competition, success in business and rewards of winning constitute the value system.

The author has not contrasted the two systems despite the business sector venturing into education in a big way. The author feels that these days there are educators 'who start businesses' and there are corporate employees 'who manage to become teachers'. And, in some rare cases there are value-based transitions also.

The book, published by the Harvard Educational Press, makes an interesting reading and reveals different facets of the business-led school reforms in the US which have implications for other countries wherein education is a welfare activity.

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