Related Expertise: Public Sector, Education

Partial Credit: How America’s School Superintendents See Business as a Partner

In the fall of 2013, researchers at Harvard Business School and The Boston Consulting Group surveyed the superintendents of the 10,000 largest school districts in the U.S. The survey—the first of its kind—was part of an ongoing research effort that seeks to understand how business leaders can partner with educators to improve America’s schools. It identified key findings on the role of business in education, including the following:

  • Business is involved in a fragmented array of efforts that focus on short-term benefits for students rather than long-term improvement of the education system.
  • Most superintendents would welcome greater business engagement in the future, in new and deeper ways.
  • There are, however, important barriers to greater engagement, including stark differences between education leaders and business leaders in their assessment of America’s schools.

The survey findings show that conditions are ripe for business and educators to come together to create truly improved and sustainable outcomes. “At its best, the business community can play a positive, catalytic role in education. Together, business and education leaders can help chart a course that supports hard-working teachers and administrators to benefit children and, ultimately, improve U.S. competitiveness,” said J. Puckett, a senior partner at BCG and the leader of the firm's global Education practice.