Measuring Work Life Balance

This work-life balance thing, as Jon would say, feels like one big fail for 2012.

Jon was, doubtless still is, good at finding fails. Even better, he had a big fat roll of fail stickers to suitably annotate any fails he came across.


But, in today’s analytical world, experience and feeling is no longer enough. You need to be able to measure and prove that it’s a fail. How else would you know if things are improving next year? How else can you set yourself targets? How else can you demonstrate that you’re performing above national floor standards for work-life balance?

No worries. We can measure anything.

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If the USA doesn’t rank highest in education league tables what does that tell us about education?

Gregory Ferenstein writing in TechCrunch asserts that:

The United States is the “dominant economic and innovative force in the world”.

and that:

During that time the United States has never ranked at the top of international education comparisons.


“schools don’t prepare students for the real world”

I couldn’t get my head around that at first but then I realised I was reading it as “schools fail at preparing students for the real world” but it was written as “it’s not schools that prepare students for the real world”.

That’s a big mind flip.

Before going further, there’s an obvious but implicit caveat to Ferenstein’s comments: he is talking about ‘the real world’ as tech-focused industry in the USA.

How could it be that the USA has dominated if this is the case? Ferenstein notes a couple of things, including the reliance of the tech industry in the USA on overseas educated talent (like me…) and the relatively high performance of the best students.

Maybe it’s also that the things measured for the international comparisons aren’t the same as the things that are needed to build and sustain a vibrant science and technology sector?

Worth a  read; and a ponder.