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PLATFORM : Perestroika for Schools

September 16, 1990| ROBERT E. WYCOFF is president and chief executive officer of Atlantic Richfield Co. in Los Angeles and vice chairman of the Business Roundtable for Education. He believes that business must help make the necessary changes in the school system. He told The Times:

The schools have to be fundamentally restructured. We have to change the system.

The role of business is the role of the rest of the community, that is to get in and help to make the necessary changes. We have some management (skills) and we have the resources to (further) this process in an effective way.

One of the key elements of restructuring is to realize that the centralized management that we have today (isn't working). (Give) local schools more power. It would help a lot.

It's kind of an extreme example, but you can liken it in some way to the Eastern European economies, which were highly centralized. Everything was controlled from the top. I think that they found that that economic system just doesn't work. A (decentralized) democratic sort of system is just much more efficient. I think that the same sort of perestroika for our school systems would be very effective.

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