MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

“No More Worthy Work That Needs To Be Done”

Posted by mbamommy on December 13, 2011

I talk a lot about special needs. I talk a lot about the personal education choices we’ve made for our children.

I don’t talk about it nearly enough. I don’t do nearly enough.

Here’s a few things I haven’t shared.

I was educated at a private school in Miami, FL because the public school system in Dade County is/was terrible. My Dad always talks about how he went to public school in Rochester, NY and got a great education but knew when he moved us down to Miami that my brother and I would wind up in private school because his property taxes were so low. Meaning, public schools didn’t get the funding they needed.

If I hadn’t gone to said private school, I would have gotten lost in the mix and probably dropped out of high school.

Because of the foundation in education I received, I went on to college and eventually graduate school.

Last year I applied to be a Broad Resident so that I could be a part of the change we need in our public school systems. Broad Residents are graduate level (mostly MBA) educated individuals who have a desire to make a change in our school districts. They are Change Agents. J always talks about how he sees a discrepancy between how we pay teachers and how we pay Wall Street. He thinks that the reason highly educated individuals (MBAs) don’t typically go into education is because there’s not a lot of money in it. MBAs generally go to consulting firms, Wall Street firms and brand management firms where they use their education and skills to further sell products and make money. They could be the change agents needed in school districts but don’t because they don’t get paid enough. The Broad Residency helps bridge that gap.

I wasn’t accepted into the program but it peaked my interest in what’s happening in our education system.

I have a vested interest in education because I have 2 children entering into the system. I chose a private school so my children can be fluent in two languages. I also chose this private school because of the smaller class sizes and higher levels of expectations of the students. Saying that, we have also chosen to live in Cherry Creek Public School District because other school districts in the Denver area are terrible and just in case the world collapses and we can’t send our kids to their current school, I won’t have to subject my children to a bad education experience.

I also have a vested interest because if the education system continues the way it does now, my children will be competing against peers from other countries for jobs. I’d rather them be competing against Americans.

I recently watched Waiting For Superman and was literally left speechless, furious and inspired to do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. I’d highly recommend watching it. If you need to borrow my copy, I’ll gladly loan it to you.

I just watched a video of Michelle Rhee speak at an Ace Scholarship luncheon here in Denver last year. I want to sit and listen to her and follow her and do anything I can to help her work. She’s truly amazing. Two things she said that truly hit home for me are: “There is no more worthy work that needs to be done.” And, “Don’t underestimate our children.”

I have been searching for something to do since all of this came to my attention. I don’t know if that something is in the form of a job, volunteering, or what. I know I could give money, but that seems to be too easy. I want to DO something. My biggest pet peeve in the world is inefficiency (just ask J, he knows) and if all these documentaries and speeches are correct, inefficiency is rampant in our education system. It’s a waste. It’s our fault. And it needs to change. I’ve been telling J for years that I’m tired of making money for a big company. I’m tired of doing something that I’m not proud of at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very good at what I do. And, what I do helps on a micro level – it benefits my own children enormously. But, my career to date can be summed up with the phrase of “putting heads in beds” (hotel slang). I’d like to do something more. Bigger. Better.

I am participating in a conference call with Michelle Rhee and her organization Students First tonight. Maybe this will help me in my search for that elusive something. Consider joining the call. It’s worth the time.

6 Responses to ““No More Worthy Work That Needs To Be Done””

  1. Mom2A said

    Thought provoking — Glad to find your blog.

  2. yongshuling said

    I find Michelle Rhee a huge inspiration and also loved what she brought to Waiting For Superman. I heard her speak at Chicago Ideas Week and one story she brought up stuck with me. She said that Warren Buffet once told her something along the lines of “I know the solution to all the education problems we’re facing… ban private school, and have every child be placed in public school at random. You won’t see a faster movement of resources across the land.”

    How’d the conference call go?

  3. Alexis R said

    So…how did the conference call go? What are you going to do? Have you read “How to Walk to School” – it’s about a few Lakeview (Chicago) moms who were fed up with CPS and wanted to make a difference. They became the change agents. I had the chance to meet Jacqueline Edelberg (one of the authors) and she is a smart, dynamic woman. From what I can tell, many other CPS improvements have happened on a school-by-school basis because of involved parents who want the public school system to work. I think there is an opportunity to figure out some great way to communicate with parents and school systems across the country and establish best practices based on benchmarks, achievements and failures. Why reinvent the wheel when certain counties/districts have figured it out – and it’s not always because there are high property taxes.

    • mbamommy said

      I didn’t make the call. Well, actually, I did but there were a lot of technical issues on their end that made me hang up.

      As for what am I doing? Well, I applied to Broad again. I volunteer at my kids school. But I’m still looking for something else. I’ve reached out to KIPP schools to learn how to volunteer for them but haven’t heard back.

      Your book sounds fascinating. I may have to read it.

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