Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Parkinson's law and public schools

One of the best summaries of the problems with bureaucracies is Parkinson’s Law:

"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

This also applies to organizations. (If you haven't read the book, check out my review.)

A recent article on the LAUSD is a classic exampple of this problem. Over six years the number of students in the Los Angeles School District declined. The school district laid off 500 teachers. But of course they needed more administrators. The size of the administration grew by 20%.

Parkinson says bureaucracies grow about 6% a year, year after year. The Catholic private schools have about one administrator per twenty teachers. I think I heard that government schools have one administrator per two teachers.

(Hat tip: Friends of Dave)

Technorati tags: children, government schools, public school, public education, education

1 comment:

Luke said...

I've heard that sentiment before. I had not heard the public school stat. It sounds a little improbable, but even so... wow.