While reading this passage it made me think about how evaluation systems nowadays are trying to reach "targets" for students, teachers, schools, and district so that we can get more funding from a variety of sources. The systems created to support this effort mandate more and more of a teacher's time so they have less of it to focus on individual needs of students and spend inordinate amounts of effort on paperwork, "artifacts" of their work, and attempts to reach all parts of tools like the Danielson Framework.
Head compares a part of the automotive industry between the United States and our counterparts in Germany to make the point that there are multiple models of management that can be used to create cars. In the US, we micromanage and use computerized tools to determine how fast a worker should be able to install a rivet or screw, therefore taking the skill of thought away from the job. In Germany, the skilled laborers decide how best to use their machines and tools to create their product and management looks over plans, provides feedback, asks questions, and allows the process to take place. Both systems work to make cars, but one has better relationships, higher-skilled employees, and more trust - which one do you think that is?
As many are wary of what has become of the teaching profession, so have I. In the midst of Gates- and Walton-funded "research" that is retracted later, we are losing control of what will actually help out students. Charter schools - which have the blessing of many urban districts - are not fulfilling their promise since many are being run in a misindustrialized manner. In Pennsylvania, Diane Ravitch reports that one in six charter schools is considered "high-performing," much lower than the state's public school average.
I hope that governments and local leaders are reading these reports to make decisions and not simply listening to who has the most money to donate.