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Opinion: Apple, NCLB and the fall of all creativity

December 18, 2012

Apple is on the cusp of becoming “one of the other guys” instead of a stand-out company.

A little over a year ago, the visionary for Apple, Steve Jobs, died from respiratory arrest. Jobs was not only the CEO of Apple, but he was the genius behind the creativity they once had. Even with the release of the new iPhone 5 and iPad mini, the company’s stock has dropped over 20 percent.

Apple was once a company with an intimate goal to pursue their consumers, providing innovative, high quality products that completely revolutionized the design of electronics in general. Just recently Apple was given the distinction of the largest corporation in the world. With the firm’s recent decline, the question of whether pride in the companies brand became their main focus when creating new products, rather than pride in their products, care for their customers and the love for these high tech products. Has putting another product out, and simply falling back on their brand name as a safety net become their one motive? The company’s results suggest that this is the case.

“Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an open letter of apology to the public, briefly after the release of Apple Maps.

HHS junior Bailey Swayne looks to explain why Apple is currently taking this downfall.
“Apple is on a downtrend because they have lost their creative manager, and now they are taking any money making opportunities they have,” Swayne said.

Thinking of this lack of creativity as the end of Apple can also be carried over to every other business that exists today. This could be where all businesses level out and are unable to achieve an advantage over any other business. This lack of creativity is becoming something that we as individuals see as important.

“Creativity is pretty important when looking at making a new product. Improving a product is good, but having the mind to think about a particular product differently is even better,” Bailey Swayne said.

According to Kyung Hee Kim through the Britannica blog, the United States educational systems are the reasoning for this lack of creativity.

“Research shows that when children’s creative needs are not met, they often become underachievers and show behavioral problems. Underachievement leads to lower levels of educational attainment and later life goal attainment. Further, research shows that high school students who exhibit creative personalities are more likely to drop out of school than other students,” Kim said in the Britannica blog.

All at the same time, other countries have already caught on to this problem, and are currently implementing it as their basis of education.

“Recently, Europe and Asia have begun to focus their educational systems on fostering creativity. The intense competition for scarce educational resources in these countries had previously fostered a system of standardized testing and rote memorization,” Kim said in the Britannica blog.

So while countries like China and Russia are continuing to improve their educational systems by implementing this method of creativity, specializing each individual student to their region of expertise. We are stuck here trailing behind the No Child Left Behind Act, which leaves students educated after the year 2001 to be bound by the restrictions of standards of learning created in a way to ensure that all students know the same information when they graduate. This creates students who are prepared for the test rather than to attaining information and knowledge for the future.

“We are educating people out of their creativity,” said Ken Robinson who premiered on TED in 2006.

Could this be the reason why businesses around the United States are either failing or turning to other countries for help? Is this absence of creativity the reason companies such as Apple are in decline and struggling with creating new and innovative products? The generation of Steve Jobs is gone, and we are now being forced into a constrained system of education. A system of learning that is robbing us of the creative individuals we truly are. All we can do is hope and pray that a miracle finds its way through the doors of our schools that unleashes creativity that may find its way into this once innovative company.

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