Hi. I’m Michael Horn, Executive Director of Education of Innosight Institute.

In the last few days, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to spend $10 billion to prevent teacher layoffs and, in effect, to allow our current failed school system to maintain the status quo.

In a sign that the leaders of this initiative, Representative David Obey and others, prefer the status quo over changing the system, the bill cuts $800 million from the President’s key reform initiatives, such as Race to the Top.

Not that Race to the Top is the end all be all—it’s not—but spending money we don’t have to support an antiquated school system built to operate like a factory is far worse.

The budgetary crises into which all schools are plunging has created the opportunity for long-needed changes.

Although many schools have framed these looming cuts as a threat to the way they operate—despite the fact that the teaching force has grown 10 percent since 2000 even as student enrollment only increased five percent—others are seeing this as an opportunity to transform their model through the implementation of online learning.

But by pumping borrowed money in to maintain the status quo, we’re merely allowing our schools the luxury of avoiding these changes. This comes at a steep price. Charging education isn’t changing it.

While U.S. schools stand still, the rest of the world is moving forward, and this has a price tag — not just for individual children, but also for the nation.

President Obama has promised to veto the bill if it comes to his desk. If it does, he’ll be right to do so.


  • Michael B. Horn
    Michael B. Horn

    Michael B. Horn is Co-Founder, Distinguished Fellow, and Chairman at the Christensen Institute.