Micromanagement: Medicine and Education

A few months ago, I commented on a New York Times article bemoaning efforts to micromanage medical care — medicine by the numbers:

https://michaelperelman.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/two-vignettes-of-regulation-i/

A few days ago, Wall Street Journal published a similar article, arguing that good medical care requires considerable discretion on the part of doctors and that micromanaging is destructive.

Groopman, Jerome and Pamela Hartzband. 2009. “Why ‘Quality’ Care Is Dangerous: The Growing Number of Rigid Protocols Meant to Guide Doctors Have Perverse Consequences.” Wall Street Journal (8  April): p. A 13.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123914878625199185.html

Yesterday’s New York Times informed its readers that the Obama administration is going to continue the No Child Left Behind nonsense of the Bush administration.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/education/15educ.html?_r=1&em

While tens of thousands are getting fired and schools are cutting back vital programs, mandating multiple-choice tests will somehow save public education.  Of course, the schools that cannot afford teachers who have to lay out money for tests and to waste valuable teaching time teaching toward the test.

My own university is asking us to us provide some sort of quantitative measure of our success in educating students. Because we teach a broader mix of subjects, we are not faced a cookie cutter approach as extreme as K-12, education.  The demand is that we devise our own metric.  Are economics students to demonstrate the quality of their education by regurgitating market fundamentalism?

Wouldn’t it be nice if finance and other forms of business were held to strict standards?

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