PROFESSIONAL PERKS: Imagine a school with a foosball room, 24/7 on-tap keg, built-in class time for capture the flag, and field trips to Bali.
No, that’s not just a high school student’s daydream. In “Why We Should Treat Teachers Like Software Engineers,” Knewton COO David Liu suggests that to improve American education, we should incentivize the teaching profession with better pay and growth opportunities, much like how tech companies recruit engineers with extravagant perks. He attributes the high graduation rates in Japan and Korea (2nd and 5th internationally, compared to 18th in the US) to how the teaching profession is treated. He writes that in Japan, “Teachers are revered and paid accordingly. Top students aspire to the profession.” That’s a far cry from Woody Allen’s adage, “Those who can’t do, teach.”