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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Similarity Between Dying Schools and Dying Businesses

As a psychologist, I've long found that parents complain most about schools. They are, as institutions, hermetically sealed, uninterested in any opinion that doesn't agree with their own and, when their efforts with troubled children fail (as almost always happens), the parents become termed expert and the school demands that they resolve their child's issues. These attitudes drive parents crazy with some believing that they're being discriminated against. My comment to them is, "No, you're not being discriminated against. Schools treat all parents badly. Accept that your school's personnel don't know what they're doing and you'll find it easier to cope."

Now my statement is not wholly true for I've know exemplary teachers and principals who went well beyond what any reasonable parent could expect. Once, a principal convinced wealthy parents to provide a violin to an impoverished, troubled, musically talented boy. Alas, he then beat up their son.

The similarities between poorly performing schools and dying businesses seem marked though, in fairness, one must add that these destructive behaviors are common to organizations during times of rapid technological and business change if skillful management is lacking. Then, ignorant of what to do, management's and staff's attitudes rigidify and they close ranks, insisting that they possess the solution to current difficulties though, thereafter, carrying on as usual until bankruptcy or public outrage ensue.
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