Of McDonalds and K-12 Schools

From an email I received recently:
McDonald’s has competition everywhere… globally. It is exceptional when it comes to standardization of product and services – they even have Hamburger U. Yet I have been to McDonald’s in suburbia and McDonald’s in rural America and McDonald’s in poor urban areas. They are not equal. And it isn’t just a case of McDonalds.. the same is true for Burger King and any other fast food chain that has corporate inspections and standards.
For instance, the Burger King, KFC, and McDonald’s near my urban church each suffer from the same problems – they are dirtier and have poorer service than those same stores in the suburban area I live in… there is no McDonald’s Playland in the urban Cleveland or Akron McDonald’s I know but there are loads of them out in my suburban area. Competition doesn’t seem to be helping those who live in the poor urban area gain the same experience those in suburbia get… even with restaurants that possess strong standards and assessments.
I think this says something about the theory that competition would be good for our schools and would equalize the playing field for kids in urban, rural, and suburban schools. It doesn’t seem to be working for McDonald’s.
Sue Ramlo, PhD
Professor of General Technology
Department of Engineering & Science Technology
The University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325-6104