Sunday, November 23, 2014

There's nothing wrong with profit.

Recently an article in Bloomberg Businessweek was released in which I was interviewed relating my story and opinion geared toward my time at K12 and my personal experience with the Tennessee Virtual Academy.

I won't recount the article here, nor will I revisit some of the responses provided by K12 to the areas in which I was quoted (at least not for now).

What I do want to do though is to make it clear that I have nothing against companies earning profits -- even those working in the world of education. I do this because I have had numerous people reach out to me, and in the course of our conversations this topic continues to come up.

It is my opinion that K12 placed profits ahead of educating the kids, as I was quoted in the article. However, that does not mean I have anything against K12 earning a profit off of what they do and provide.

Recently I had breakfast with an educational entrepreneur and we were discussing for-profit companies and education -- can they mix? Is it right? etc.

She said to me, "Without margins their can be no mission."

While that is such a good point, it is however, not the point. The point in earning profits and putting profits ahead of educating students has everything to do with where you place your focus, your energy, your attention.

If you focus primarily on expanding your margins, then you must make decisions and sacrifices in order to increase them. If, on the other hand, you focus primarily on fulfilling your mission, you actually have the potential to, in turn, expand your margin.

It is not about profit vs education. It is instead about priorities. A for-profit company can exist in the world of education, serve a great purpose, and be a profitable company.

Ok, now I feel better about the article. Perhaps this provides a little more context to my quote.

No comments:

Post a Comment