“As long as we’re making education about the adults and not the children, that’s a problem. There are a lot of agendas being pursued at a cost to our kids, and resources are irrelevant if there’s no accountability…

…as to how they’re used. What I think we really need is a children’s union….So they take ownership (the children). The teachers have annual contracts; there’s no business in the world that could succeed if employees who worked for three years got a job for life. The parents are accountable too. They need to acknowledge, accept, and embrace the objectives set for their children. They come in, they volunteer time, they sign off on homework assignments. You have to cover all the bases.” Andre Agassi, September 21, 2015

Opinion

Notable & Quotable: Educator Andre Agassi

‘Resources are irrelevant if there’s no accountability’

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Andre Agassi attending Nike’s ‘NYC Street Tennis’ event on August 24, 2015 in New York City. PHOTO: DENNIS VAN TINE/GEISLER-FOTOPRES/DPA VIA ZUMA PRESS

From an interview with retired professional tennis player Andre Agassi, who runs a foundation and charter school in Las Vegas, in the October issue of the Harvard Business Review:

HBR: What do you think is wrong with the way kids are educated today, and how are you trying to fix it?

Agassi: As long as we’re making education about the adults and not the children, that’s a problem. There are a lot of agendas being pursued at a cost to our kids, and resources are irrelevant if there’s no accountability as to how they’re used. What I think we really need is a children’s union. My own mission is to focus on impact. I’m not one to sit in a boardroom and talk about something. I’d rather roll up my sleeves and get in the trenches. Clark County in Las Vegas is the fifth largest school district in America, and we’re 50th as measured by the kids we put into college—so what a great testing laboratory.

HBR: What sets your school apart?

Agassi: One difference is time on task. There are no shortcuts. We have longer school days—eight hours versus six. If you add that up, it’s 16 years of education versus 12 for district peers. There’s also an emphasis on accountability, which starts with the kids themselves. They know this is a privilege: There are 1,000 kids on the waiting list. So they take ownership. The teachers have annual contracts; there’s no business in the world that could succeed if employees who worked for three years got a job for life. The parents are accountable too. They need to acknowledge, accept, and embrace the objectives set for their children. They come in, they volunteer time, they sign off on homework assignments. You have to cover all the bases.

Posted on September 21, 2015, in Postings. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Andre Agassi…I didn’t know he was involved like this…he has nailed it in just a couple of paragraphs!

    Mark Nelson 3256 Sitio Tortuga Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.473.7558 mnelson.doit@gmail.com

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