Banks and Schools - Is there any difference?
By Jim Vail
|Chase Bank or School No. 9?|
We all know the banks play a big role in today's society.
They also play a big role in terms of running the schools.
They issue bonds to finance the schools, including the latest scandal where Bank of America and others set up toxic interest rate swaps that officials estimate will cost the district more than $430 million over the lifetime of the agreements.
Second City Teachers sat down with a relationship banker on the northwest side and discovered how similar banks and schools are.
He explained that Chase Bank branches compete with each other in terms of performance.
So if a particular Chase Bank branch is not doing well, it can be closed. Sound familiar teachers?
Each individual is rated on their performance in terms of how much business or clients they generate.
The employees are monitored constantly, the relationship banker told me. He rolled his eyes when he said this, emphasizing the constant vigilance.
I swear I thought I was speaking to a teacher about the Reach evaluations, our performance ratings that we are constantly subjected to.
For teachers, instead of how many clients or fees you generate, it's how how much did your test scores go up.
Chase Bank also hands out bonuses to its employees who exceed expectations. Believe me, that will be a prominent part of the next teachers union contract - Merit Pay!
The bank branch I went to brought in an outside 'star' manager to help 'turn it around,' my banking colleague told me.
Ah, turnarounds - fire everyone in the school and watch it get turned around!
But I asked him if he thought it was fair to expect a certain branch bank in a depressed part of the city to do as well as another in a wealthier part?
I felt I was right at home, questioning how you can rate low-income schools fairly when there are so many outside factors.
The relationship banker agreed, and said he thinks the bank takes that into account.
Hmm ... I wonder about that.