Steve Jobs Blames Bad Schools On Teachers’ UnionsFeb 18th, 2007 | By James Lewin | Category: General
If Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs wasn’t a lightning rod for controversy after blaming Apple’s DRM on the music industry, he will be now.
At an appearance at an education conference Friday, Jobs blasted teachers’ unions, saying that no amount of technology in the classroom would improve public schools until principals could fire bad teachers.
“What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn’t get rid of people that they thought weren’t any good?” he asked. “Not really great ones, because if you’re really smart you go, ‘I can’t win.’”
“I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way,” Jobs said. “This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy.”
“Apple just lost some business in this state, I’m sure,” Jobs said.
Earlier in the panel discussion, Jobs told the crowd about his vision for textbook-free schools in the future. Textbooks would be replaced with a free, online information source that was constantly updated by experts, much like the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
“I think we’d have far more current material available to our students and we’d be freeing up a tremendous amount of funds that we could buy delivery vehicles with – computers, faster Internet, things like that,” Jobs said. “And I also think we’d get some of the best minds in the country contributing.”