Our Children's Future Is In Great Danger!
Basic facts:

Under revision. Updated on 2/16/2015

"Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource."
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA

In 2014, the World Economic Forum ranked the United States 49th in quality of mathematics and science education of 148 nations. World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, Available at: "Competitiveness Report". OECD PISA tests 65 nations' 15-year olds (includes OECD plus partner countries for taking PISA). The USA dropped to a new low of 36th in mathematics in the 2012 OECD PISA report.

A presidential project, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5 (2010)", concluded that "disparities in U.S. K-12 education compared to those of many other nations, impose the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession - one substantially larger than the deep recession the country is currently experiencing." Please read at http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12999&page=1.

Good education is the only ticket out of poverty. Some people think that all children are not suited to do college work. There will be, as in the past, very few people who will be successful without college. But almost everyone who completes a four-year college degree in science or engineering will be successful. Those without a college education acquire the needed knowledge by having had a broad interest in many subjects. They read a lot about those subjects and retained much of what they read. They become interested in something unique that people or companies need and want, do an excellent job creating such a product and become successful. The college diploma is simply a document to prove that a student achieved a specific level of knowledge in a subject. It is proof that employers require for the better jobs. Unfortunately, the public high school diploma in the US does not mean good achievement in knowledge. The ACT Readiness percentage shows only 5-25% of public high school graduates represent sufficient knowledge to be ready for job training or further education in the US. This is a major problem for us. That means a 24 ACT average or higher by any student is important in order to be able to get a job or to complete a college education.

The average ACT 21 target set by many school boards is a low expectation goal. With an average 21 ACT score, 75-85% of those with a regular diploma are not ready according to ACT. The 24 ACT average means 80-85% readiness according to ACT for being trained for a job or having ONLY a chance to finish the first year of a college or tech school. However, the majority of our high schools are providing 5-25% ACT readiness only with average ACT scores of 17-21.5. Private schools develop graduates with 90-99% ACT readiness, most at a lower cost than public schools. In our example, Knox County, Tennessee, between 2008-2014 average, more than 80% who entered 9th grade was not ready to be trained for a job or enter any college or tech school according to ACT. Tennessee average was worse. The exception is to enter them for remedial training to make up for what they have not learned in high school. This deficiency with poor preparation starts early in primary school in order to graduate them from high school on time. Unfortunately 77-81% of those with a high school diploma were not ready during the same period. The school system uses the graduation rate as an important objective, when the unreadiness according to ACT makes the diplomas worthless. The majority of graduates can look forward to spotty employment with minimum wage jobs for life unless they get more education. The responsibility falls on the elected boards of education by law, since they are empowered to hire and fire superintendents and make or approve all decisions about objectives and operating plans.

Today, more and more foreign students with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in science and engineering from American universities are returning home because the opportunities there are better. In talking to graduate school professors in our universities one finds that before 2005, foreign students who were the best performers aspired to get a job in the USA and stayed. This made-up for the shortfall in American students with advanced degrees in science and engineering. That has been changing. Since 2005, more and more American students come out of our high schools poorly trained and unmotivated. They do not work hard and are unprepared to do college-level work. Look for the ACT "UNREADINESS" and how it is calculated below under RESULTS.


http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/02.10.11_coulson.pdf

The above graph in a Cato Institute study shows that since 1970, US education spending per student skyrocketed, but the education results went nowhere as many other countries passed us SPENDING LESS MONEY PER STUDENT. US teacher training and the way we teach students also has not changed for at least a hundred years, as other countries developed better teaching and management methodologies in education. Not one of our state or federal leaders did anything about raising test results and especially the national ACT scores since it became available. As a result, According to the World Economic Forum, 47 nations of 148 passed us in high school level performance, yet we spend more money per student than 42 of the top 47. According to OECD-PISA, 35 countries of 65 passed us.

Massachusetts' students rank 1st in the US in math. Hong Kong's students rank among the top 5 in the world. The US is 36th, a new low record in math in 2013 (OECD-PISA tests of 65 countries). The best in our country do not come CLOSE to matching even the top 20 in the world. 87% of the questions on the Hong Kong test require a higher level of thinking and knowledge. Only 6% of questions on the Massachusetts test are on the same level. These figures express how woefully behind we are (http://iadvocateforkids.org/PTA/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/CCSShandout4pg-FINAL.pdf, Page 3). Our example, Tennessee is worse than Massachusetts. The curriculum to get a high school diploma is more rigorous in the top 20 countries than ours. In most of them the curriculum defines what each course is to achieve by year end and the teachers decide individually how they will teach and in what sequence to achieve the curriculum requirement.

Jobs in the future will require a more educated workforce. Instead, we are and have been developing less-educated people, more and more students who are unmotivated, and unable to learn a job after high school. As of 2014, this figure was a shocking 80% of those students who enter Knox County, TN high schools in 9th grade. As if those weren't bad enough, Tennessee's statewide results are even worse at 89%.

Principals of schools need most of the authority delegated to them, that superintendents and their central management have today in USA school districts:
    • Total school budget responsibility,
    • Change personnel who do not perform,
    • Make all final decisions about anything related to that school's operations to deliver the best academic results,
    • Delegate much more authority to teachers than what they have today.
    • Principals also must have accountability for money spending as well as meeting a specific academic objective  such as a MONTHLY GDP average in order for the district to meet its ACT score.
    • If a school is delivering consistently poor academic results for more than a couple of years, then they need a management change: new principals and assistant principals. If it continues happening,
    • We need all this to give the young generation a better chance than what they get today from our public schools.


    "Education is not just the learning of facts. It is rather the training of the mind to think."
    Albert Einstein

    "Think" meaning understanding complex things and making good decisions about them.

    WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR WORKFORCE AS A RESULT?

    THE WEAKENING OF OUR WORKFORCE REPRESENTS THE GREATEST THREAT TO US AS A NATION. Look below at the chart that shows how our workforce has been weakening; the results of our poorly managed school districts: the increase in people since 1990 who are no longer in the workforce.

    The following chart shows a disturbing increase since 1990 in those people who are without a job. This is a better measure than unemployment figures based on those who receive unemployment benefits. This increase also corresponds to the education and workforce quality downturn long term. Source: US payroll dropout reports.

Our leaders talk about job creation a lot, but no employer will hire anyone unqualified and insufficiently educated for any job. No employer will offer a job unless the candidate has a job history with good references, education and experience to guarantee that such a potential employee will be able to do an excellent job. Job openings do exist. Well enough educated potential employees need to exist FIRST before an employer can offer a job. They do not exist in sufficient numbers thanks to the poor results our public elementary and high schools are delivering - with very few exceptions. We are certainly spending enough money on them. The 80% of 9th graders who leave high school are not only academically NOT ready for other than minimum wage jobs. Unfortunately many have a bad attitude and no motivation to deliver an honest days work. Too many feel unjustly that they have the right to receive more than what they are getting.

We have 92 million of the former labor force who are not employed in 2013, including those who no longer receive unemployment and therefore they are not on the unemployment records. That is a lot of people. Source: US payroll dropout reports. We have only 145 million employed (http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/laus/us/usadj.htm) from a population of about 340 million. The reason: poor education is coming out of public high schools with very few exceptions.

We hear from US companies more and more often that they do not value tax and property incentives any more from the states, because the available workforce is poorly educated. State leadership is aware of this everywhere. These companies are looking to expand elsewhere. There is no action taken yet that would improve the only thing that counts: average ACT or SAT scores.



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing!!"
Edmund Burke, Irish statesman, 1776

To date, not one person stood up who had the authority to make changes to increase the average ACT scores!! We are ashamed of what our expensive public education is doing. Exceptions are very rare.

RESULTS

For many years 80% of those who entered 9th grade are not prepared to be trained for a job or to enter a college or tech school after leaving high school, according to ACT's Readiness Report. They will be minimum wage employees at best with the new generation of technology and robotics eliminating their jobs. Such poor performance had a devastating impact on the workforce.See the facts here. WE DO NOT HAVE SCHOOLS ANY MORE. WE HAVE MOSTLY FAILURE FACTORIES with very few exceptions. MANY CHILDREN COULD END UP AS HOMELESS ADULTS UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IF WE DO NOT MAKE URGENT CHANGES. Just imagine having only one car manufacturer from whom to buy a car, and 80% of them are constantly failing. But you cannot go to another car supplier whose cars work because you have to pay cash that you do not have. Some of you will object to this comparison. "My child is not a failing car or some gadget!!" No, your child is not. Your child deserves much better education so that your child can have a reasonable life.

Unfortunately, the mismanaged public school system makes your child a failure and keeps the truth away from the public, from people like you. Not one person in authority stood up to do something about the poor education such that the ACT score would go up, as a result. Why do you think that is? And why are some of you not taking action to reverse the poor performance and raise the ACT scores? Click here for an explanation of what the chart below means exactly. It is important to understand this area very well..

In the following graph, we want to focus on the blue GRADUATION line and the red NOT READY line that is above 80%!! It is outrageous that this line represents more than 80% of 9th graders who are not ready for any other job after high school but a minimum wage job with increasing unemployment and a possibility of homelessness for so many children. What is disturbing is that the lack of Readiness per ACT has been going on since 2006, degrading our workforce, and no one did anything about it.


To see a more detailed version of the above chart with explanations go to the continuation of the "RESULTS" area, by clicking here.

"The most pressing task is to teach people how to learn."
Peter Drucker, 1909-2005, Father of 21st Century Management By Objectives



SPENDING

"When the results are poor, money is not being spent on the right activities and people"

Let's look at the same graph again, now with the green line that represents the Grand TOTAL of all spending in Knox County, Tennessee including capital and interest spending by the Knox County school system.

Note how HIGH the spending is, although our education system does not show it. Only the state shows it. SHOULDN'T WE BE OPEN WITH THE PUBLIC WHO PAY ALL THIS MONEY, AND SHOW ALL MONEYS SPENT ON EDUCATION, WHATEVER THOSE EXPENSES ARE?



"TOTAL CURRENT EXPENDITURES" are what the school system presents in public as its budget before a school year starts. The approved budget for the Knox County School System for 2013 was $420 million. The public never saw in the papers how much they spent after the school year started. What they spent under "TOTAL CURRENT EXPENDITURES" was much higher, $474.9 million and published for the Governor in the 2013 Tennessee Statistical Report by the state education department in 2014. Who approved such overspending? It appears that there is no discipline and oversight associated with the budget to stay within it as the citizens and businesses have to do. What makes it even more disturbing is the fact that the act scores are so poor that 80-90% of those who entered 9th grade, leave high school unprepared to be employed. The public is simply not informed of this fact, and the school districts can have a PR staff to flood the public with positively sounding news. Source of financial information on spending is www.tn.gov/education/data/doc/asr_1213.pdf, Tables 48 and 49. See other Tables to see details of the totals.

Under a different heading called "GRAND TOTAL OF ALL EXPENDITURES" in the Statistical Report, Knox County Schools spent a whopping $560 million total in 2013, not $474.9 million as shown in some documents, that includes capital and interest expenses the school system spent in 2013. But even this is not the total. For example, legal expenses spent on behalf of the school system is included in a different county cost center, and it seems possible that other education-related expenses are hidden elsewhere. WHY THE SECRECY? What other education-related spending is hidden and where? It is virtually impossible to tell how much this education system is actually spending every year, AND ON WHAT.

Our point is that we do not see any reason for not publishing IN OUR NEWSPAPERS the entire amount of dollars this and other counties are spending for the education system.

The education system does not inform the public of the poor performance (e.g., the all time low record in average ACT score in Knox County, Tennessee in 2013). At the same time the US is the fifth highest spender per student in education, which under "maintenance of effort" laws must be (?) maintained, regardless of performance. Knox County, Tennessee spends more money per student than the top twenty highest performing nations, except one, and their cost of living is higher. Education districts appear to have no incentive to investigate how to improve performance. The reason: their objective is not a specific average ACT (or SAT depending on the state) objective to be met along with school level operating plans that measure monthly academic performance objectives and spending vs. budget. School management does not have an objective that forces them to focus on improving average ACT performance while keeping expenses within the approved budget.The poor outcome is not surprising under such circumstances.

80-90% of the students who entered 9th grade are not ready per ACT's definition to be trained for a job or to enter a college or tech school. This is a very poor return on the public's investment, and warrants some thinking about what schools will stay open and will be closed.

More than 30 states cut back education spending since 2008. See http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=4011. Even with such reductions in spending, the US is the fifth largest spender per student among the industrialized countries, with the lowest academic performance among those nations.


There is uncontrolled, significant overspending of the approved budget for more than a decade, possibly back to 1970. Why haven't we done anything to stop it and put a monthly reporting system in place watching spending vs. the approved budget? Why isn't the budget planned out monthly to keep an eye on spending? Look at the chart below. "Current Expenses" are education expenses that do not cover all expenses for education, and this is what the school districts refer to when discussing it in public. For example, they exclude capital and interest expenses like the expenses associated with mortgages and their financing for school property, however, the state's statistical report includes that with the words "Grand Total". Even the state excludes education expenses such as legal expenses, and perhaps other expenses, that are comingled or mixed into total (legal expenses) for the county. For this reason, the spending reported by the school district does not cover all education related expenses. Even the state's report does not, but their representation is closer. The public is unaware of the spending beyond the approved "Current Expenses" budget. As you can see in the chart below, what the school district announces is significantly overspent every single year. Some board members and the superintendent is pushing for more taxes to increase school funding. In view of the management problems, poor performance and funding comparable to the top performing internationals, we need to see the identified problems corrected first along with a more healthy business-like behavior correcting the many management issues with teacher morale on top. Click here for more information on spending.






BLOATED CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION


"Too many cooks (bosses) spoil the broth - due to lack of good communication, the right objective, good planning and execution."

A BROAD VIEW OF BLOATED CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION, THE REASONS FOR IT AND ITS IMPACT:

Everyone running for a school board has good intentions. Everyone has an opinion about everything, even if they have a limited knowledge of the subject. This is true of all committees, all groups that have to make some decisions. That is the way we human beings are. It is not unlike the chef of the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City having a strong opinion about how the New World Trade Center could have been designed better. Board of education candidates have no clear idea if the results are good or bad and why. This is the result of the school district having a professional PR staff. They do an excellent job in PR to present the school district in the best light.

The following is a common problem with our education system everywhere. It is not the boards' or superintendents' fault. The states created a system a long time ago that sufficed and has not changed as the world and job requirements changed. However, many other nations changed passing us and we lost market share to international competition for many years now hurting us economically. Will explain further as we go through each section below.

Board candidates and members know very little if anything about the best education systems in the world and why their results are far better than ours. They don't know the reasons for past superintendents' failures. They don't know much about objective setting, what works and what does not work. Many see their role as helping the superintendent, right or wrong, and do not see the vital importance of ACT achievement as the key indicator of what students have learned from grade one to twelve. Some become board members by establishing an early friendship with the superintendent, and addressing only problems the superintendent wants to address. Some become board members for the money.

In most places, being a board member is an uncompensated position. Are they achieving more? No. In some large cities it is compensated at $7,000-8,000 annually. Our school board members get $25,000-28,000 annually with salary, expenses, car allowance and the option to buy into the school system's benefits plan. Even if a person makes on his/her regular job $150,000 annually, and they get such an additional compensation as a school board member, and there are no term limits, they will not want to give up the money. How do you think that will effect their judgement and priorities? And would they tell you that it has and had no effect on their decisions? Of course they would. Then how come our results are so bad, that 80% of those who enter 9th grade leave high school unqualified for better than minimum wage job training or to complete the first year of college or a tech school? That is what ACT's Readiness percentages have been showing for year. We have been downgrading the workforce and creating masses of minimum wage employees who will become potentially jobless for most of their 35-40 year working life, as a result of a new wave of cognitive robotics.

The board is in charge according to the law, and the superintendent works for them. But they do not have enough interest in learning where we stand against international competition and end up doing what the superintendent wants. Most if not all see no importance in being internationally competitive in education. Most if not all do not see that the majority of students starting high school will leave not prepared by the schools to be employed minimally to support a family of four. The superintendent talks about world class education, high expectations, but neither is present and nor can board members or the superintendent explain what these promises mean. The results of this system have been poor as seen below. The school board majority at minimum does not have and are not required to have more than a high school diploma, and are not prepared to judge and guide the superintendent. The state provides no guidelines - which is a way to deal with lack of enough management experience. If a person managed only 5-10 people, they do not know that managing 100 people requires very serious training and experience; and infinitely more if thousands of employees are involved. It takes substantial management training and experience to interview successfully and decide about a superintendent who is to manage an organization with 8,000 employees. Board members are to do that but without the skill level success is not possible. The Board believes that the superintendent knows his business. There are very few who managed to improve ACT or SAT results in the entire USA. We do not believe that board members are at fault in these areas. They meet the requirements the state set. Our board hired a superintendent who never even managed a single school, and we have 89 schools. He was a teacher for a year, then managed security, food service, and accounting. Never managed schools to produce results. Does anyone understand the problem with this situation? One cannot succeed if the system itself within the organization is not healthy for the business to achieve good results and if you don't know what that result is so that you can measure its progress. That must be corrected first.

The EXAMPLE: Students increased only 13% between 1995 and 2014. Administrators increased a whopping 164%. This is a greater than 12 times or 1200% increase from 13% to 164%. With all that increase in administrators, the actual increase of employees is greater because administrators are managers who have other people working for them, typically 8-15. You do not just add a bunch of management people under any circumstance. With all those administrators added, the ACT achievement stayed low, setting an all time low record in 2013 with an average ACT score of 20.2. WHAT HAVE ALL THOSE ADMINISTRATORS ACCOMPLISHED OVER THE YEARS? WHY ARE WE KEEPING THEIR NUMBERS HIGH? The ratio of supervisory people to employees changes very little over time in order to operate efficiently. There can be no logical reason for a 1200% increase in supervisors/administrators unless someone is "building a Kingdom". If criticized, titles can be changed by the superintendent to create the impression of fewer administrators. But the total central staff numbers and salaries are not so easy to hide.



With such a high administrator increase over the increase in students, how could it be possible for Central Administration not to be bloated? This is not normal practice and it is unnecessary.
  • Any such increase (support staff, teachers or administrators especially), should not be larger than the student increase. This kind of increase is an alarm in management.
  • Management to employee ratios rarely change in this direction. One typically needs one supervisory employee plus administrative support person per 8-15 employees. The number depends on how good their administrative/management people are in making good decisions independently. It also depends on the automation of reporting and management systems developed through management training and modern software tools.
  • A 1200% larger increase IN ADMINISTRATORS than students in 19 years does not make sense under any circumstance.
  • An increase in government programs is neither so numerous nor sophisticated to require an administrator.
  • In addition the number of employees a manager/administrator can handle has gone up during the years with new management tools and methods, and did not go down.
  • Clearly the administrators' increase should not exceed the percentage increase in students. In fact, it should be slightly lower as a percentage than the student increase, as administrators are trained and learn to work more efficiently.
This 19-year huge increase in administrators is appalling, especially considering that the ACT results did not rise at a high rate, but went down to an all time low record in the average ACT score in 2013. Examine sudden administrator decreases after the question of bloated administration arises. Note that a superintendent can change administrator numbers simply by changing the titles to non-administrative ones, but central management employee numbers and salaries may not change.

A similar concern is that the state does not publish normal operating ratios defined in some key areas to keep central management small. This is a common problem. For example it is important having the ACT score with sufficient growth, and spending vs. budget as the two primary objectives and nothing more. Or limiting the size of central management employees as a percentage of total district employees to a maximum. But define central management employees as those who do not report to or do not have their performance review done by a principal's organization and therefore are under central control. Or checking morale by having an independent confidential body, to whom employees can talk, who would report anonymously the number of and type of problems every six months, and so on. Or reporting annually the employee turnover in the various work areas. Employee turnover is a very expensive thing. It costs an organization 8-16 months of salary to change an employee, depending on the level of the job. The boards and superintendents simply don't know what is wrong and why, because education districts never had to operate with the discipline of a business. The results have been poor for a long time now and can only be poor without such guidelines in place.

Central management employee numbers have been skyrocketing and in 2013, we set an all time low average ACT score record at 20.2. Obviously the increase in administrators did not raise but lowered the results. In addition, too much of the education dollars are not getting to the schools and classrooms. They are spent in central management. When central management grows beyond a certain size, they become too protective of their position and obstructive to the organization in any industry because they must justify their numbers and salaries.
  • Why do you think we have to administer more tests to students than what the state requires? It makes absolutely no sense to do so.
  • Why are we using higher paid coaches, who are simply volunteers from teachers who need to become a lot better relative the international competition? Regardless of where they are from, they come from the same poorly performing education environment and they will become an antagonist to justify their own position. For coaching one needs someone not from the same poorly performing school districts, but either from a very highly performing environment that may not even exist in the USA since we dropped to 36th in the world, or a specialized highly qualified company that teaches superior teaching and teaching management methodologies.
Someone in central management sold the above ideas.

If one wants to use a consultant, hire them from the best performing area in education in the world. There is a conflict of interest in Central Management hiring and paying consultants from whose work they benefit. Let the county hire them with results reporting to the County Mayor and the public, without any contact with the school district to define the scope of the work or to see anything other than the final report. If you hire them from high performers in education like Finland or Singapore, you can increase the probability of the truth in the report. You do not have the superintendent hire a consultant to report where he has to improve, as in the past. Otherwise consulting firms will not be impartial.

The numbers that the superintendent provides for the size of central management are smaller than reality. To find out do not ask for the total employees in central management. Ask under the Freedom Of Information Act or Open Records Act for all employees who are not performance-reviewed by and who do not take direction from the organization under a school principal. In the graph below we see a sampling of the surrounding Tennessee counties including our example Knox County. It is obvious that the poor performance and bloated central management is very common.





How does the superintendent keep the board busy so that the board members never address the poor ACT performance and the excessive spending? This subject is addressed in superintendent training schools. By loading up board meetings with a lot of low level spending approvals, decisions that should be made on a lower level, if an approved monthly operating plan and expense budget exists. By involving the board in low level decisions, the superintendent immunizes himself from blame. Superintendents and managers are highly paid to make the right decisions independently. Just think! What is the point in having supervisors, managers and administrators, if they are not allowed or are incapable of making important decisions for the better and taking action independently and immediately in their area of responsibility. Or what if the superintendent gets involved and changes their decisions? How efficient can such an organization become? And how demoralizing is that for a supervisory employee? The ultimate is to pass to the board issues for decision that should be made below the superintendents level. That is what is happening. The job descriptions of supervisory personnel should clearly identify the areas where they do make decisions independently. If they cannot do that, then change them. This is why measurable objectives, that are THE key indicator of the organization's success, like an average ACT score, are so important at the board and superintendent level, and this is why all objectives at all levels must relate to it to be in harmony to achieve the overall ACT objective.

WE BETTER WAKE UP! The board of education hires a superintendent who is to deliver better results. They never picked a superintendent under whom the ACT scores improved to a point where HALF OF THOSE leaving high school are actually ready per ACT. The board does not want to let the superintendent go if he/she produces poor results, because they picked him and they will look bad. So they ignore the poor results. In the mean time we waste millions of hard-earned tax payer dollars, we dumb down thousands of children and there is no oversight above the board to correct the problem.

80% of those who enter 9th grade leave our high schools on average not being prepared for job training, or to get into a college or tech school. Did boards of education in Knox County, Tennessee raise the ACT results 2-3 points to reduce this enormous failure rate?! They never did and neither did they have an objective to achieve such higher ACT scores.

It should be very clear by now based on many years of results that the boards are tasked with actions that the voting majority may not understand without experience and training in the area in question. Why doesn't the state provide specific written management guide lines to school districts to correct this discrepancy?

The reason for central managements being bloated is the lack of sufficient management training and experience by board members and the superintendents who are hiring people to guess what actions and talents are needed to correct the poor performance. If they knew, the performance would have increased a long time ago. This is why central managements are bloated, using up dollars that could be better used in the schools' classrooms.

The above is basic management practice. If we were wrong, we would not be producing out of 80% of former 9th graders who have not been trained well enough in high school to have a job or to enter even one year of a college or tech school. Instead they will be minimum wage candidates with rapidly increasing unemployment.





TEACHERS

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
Albert Einstein

TEACHERS:

Board members and Superintendent, teachers are your ONLY resource to come out of the bad situation you are in. You are not treating them well.

  • 80% of those who enter 9th grade leaving high school not ready per ACT is the worst imaginable result.
  • Since the outcome of the school depends on the teachers and not the parents (the outcome of the school), you board members should spend time with as many teachers as possible to get a feel for their needs to raise their morale. Parents do help, but all parents are not helpful, and we do not control them. Parents therefore are an "uncontrollable variable" and they will act in accordance with their own needs and belief. Some have a very hard life and consequently their child's school performance is not priority and it is not understood. But there are examples of a FEW SCHOOLS WITH ENORMOUS SUCCESSES with the same situation that we could copy. The school can expect to have control when the young mind is under their care for part of the day.
  • Be nice to teachers and all employees, listen to them, be compassionate, help them.
  • You cannot change older parental minds and poor parental attitudes, that is all too prevalent at the low performance end. You can only influence and mold young minds. We must motivate them, and provide extra help for them if needed. However, only teachers with a good morale are capable of motivating since it has to come from within the teacher.
  • The number one requirement to achieve outstanding performance is happiness in the job and looking forward to it every day. Money does not bring happiness but for a few weeks, if other irritants exist, and they do.
  • It is impossible to do well when your morale is low. Teacher morale is low.
  • Only you can change that and an excellent example exists in how to do that even in the worst of inner city areas (Success Academies, New York City).
  • It is only with teachers who are well matched to their profession who will be happy in their job AND THAT IS WHAT PRODUCES GOOD QUALITY WORK. FIRST, YOU CAN TEST FOR THE VOCATIONAL MATCH, E.G., STRONG INTEREST INVENTORY correlated with the MYERS-BRIGGS PSYCHOLOGICAL INVENTORY. You can achieve that if you have compassion and understanding, if you can create motivation and enthusiasm with the practice that the best performing school systems use in the world.



It is the classroom where children are motivated and learn - or do not learn. There are many good teachers, and some who are not so good, like in any job. Those who are not so good do have a negative impact on children. Teacher training is weak at US universities with very few exceptions (Reference). American teachers are from the bottom third of their college. In the top 20 foreign countries, graduates from the top third (top 10% in Finland) of their master's program VOLUNTEER to become teachers in the single subject they would like to teach. They are not switched from the subject in which they earned their MS or PhD. Continuing education is encouraged.

My father was a teacher and principal in Europe. Whenever I visited him from here, he was very old, and former students would walk up to him on the street to hug him and kiss his hand. When he introduced me, they would tell me that he was tough (he was also a colonel who was knighted), but he was the one who motivated them, and that is why they are successful. It must be wonderful to have such experience. It was incredible to see it. This is the result of excellent student performance that drives school and teacher reputation.
They are not paid well anywhere in the world, but they are in a highly respected profession in every country where the education results are good. Teachers in those countries stay with teaching for life. In some countries (e.g., Finland), close to 95% of teachers retire from the same school where they started. Teachers are so well respected in Finland, that they make all decisions about the students and the classroom, they choose even the textbooks and teaching aids they want to use. Any problem that comes up, the Finn teachers solve it together at a weekly teachers' meeting. There is no central management influence as we have it. There is a principal of the school, who is a general manager, who makes sure that teachers have everything they need. The national curriculum is broad enough to give teachers freedom to teach the best way they can. Their knowledge is certainly there for that, having a master's degree in the subject they teach.

As many of us may recall, more than forty years ago, teachers had high morale, they were tough and they produced good results. The US was among the best countries in education then. If any student misbehaved in school, he or she was punished in the class, and then was punished again by their parents. All of that changed completely and no political leader stood up to tell the public the truth and to change the terrible education system we created.

We are far from the people I just described. With the subject training being weak in college, we could make up for it with continuing education programs and supporting a master's program for them. Our superintendent, James McIntyre stopped that. Teachers could do it on their own, but very few do that. Our teachers do not have any authority to run a classroom. They are not allowed to teach as they see fit. They are told by less qualified people many times what to teach and how to teach. They have no authority to render judgment on discipline problems, destroying their authority. Their verbal and sometimes physical abuse by some students is terrible and such discipline events interfere with the entire class. US teachers have to work 1100 classroom hours, the most by far in the world. The paperwork load is huge. They do not have enough time for class preparation. Teachers are pressured by central management people to change the test grades of students for the better so that the students graduate on time, making the school district look good. The students' readiness is not important. Graduating with such a diploma (77% of the diploma holders are not ACT ready) is what the board and the superintendent want. Teacher morale is terrible. In 2014, 250 teachers came to a Board meeting to air their objections. When people write or speak about complaints, there are at least ten times as many out there who are dissatisfied. For us, that's 90-95% of all teachers. The superintendent and central management is very autocratic with them, with the superintendent being the worst. Teaching is looked upon as one of the most difficult jobs even under the best of circumstances (Reference).

The most important thing for improved results with teachers in any country including ours is happiness in the job and independence to do your very best. The result is good morale, on which much of the results with students depend on. It is impossible to do your best if you have poor morale. The price our children pay for management incompetence is enormous. 80% of 9th graders not being ready for job training or further education is criminal. It is not the teachers who are doing this to them. It is the board and the superintendent who are inexperienced in management who are responsible.

Teacher morale is poor as evidenced by 250 teachers demonstrating in August and September, 2014 ( http://www.wate.com/story/23897839/knox-county-teachers-voice-opposition-to-new-evaluations). Those who complain about working conditions represent only one tenth of those, minimum, who feel that way.

We need performance evaluation for everyone including teachers. The annual teacher performance evaluation needs to be fair. It is not fair today in 2014. The currently used one-hour teacher observations four times per year are inadequate, unfair and can be prejudicial. The use of the TVAAS system for growth projections is mathematically unreliable, and is contested legally enough not to last.

Objectives work only if they are measurable indicators of performance, if they are mutually supportive and related through all management levels, starting always at the top in an organization - not just on the bottom or starting only with teachers.

The school results SHOULD depend on the education, quality and motivation of teachers. They would, if:
  • The required laws were changed in the state to give teachers full authority to deal immediately with discipline problems, with punishment that the student and their parent would not want to experience again, and if
  • They had the freedom of teaching the best way they know how without an enormous amount of paperwork they have to create by hand.


We do not have all that as yet. The teachers' university performance is an important start and the best international countries in education do not hire teachers who are not in the top 1/3rd in their university performance - with a Masters degree in the field that they want to teach.

We have some teachers whose subject knowledge and teaching methodology needs help through a continuing education program. Education systems that perform well and have the best reputation attract the best volunteers.

Unfortunately, in our education systems teacher morale is poor. That is always the result of poor management on top. Our school districts try to create a good public image with professional PR stories in the media - not with results that count. We are dealing with the challenges that must be solved in this area on a separate page at http://www.usaedustat.com/1teacherchallenges.html.





THE RESULTS OF POOR MANAGEMENT

Promotion to higher levels from teachers upward, are on the basis of friendships with someone in central management or nepotism, instead of being based on excellent job performance and readiness for the new job. Titles do not make a manager or supervisor, yet management training before promoting someone into a management or supervisory position is nonexistent in education. It is also rare to see a person among the elected school boards who has management experience even at the level of one tenth the size of the school district in number of employees and budget size annually who actually had experience producing good results. Board members are not trained in basic management skills like interviewing a person for a superintendent position, do not even realize the need for such a skill, and tend to hire superintendents in their own image and experience, purely on the basis of appearances only and not on the candidates accomplishments. It is very common to find superintendents without the management experience that would be required for the size of the school district.
We can even find boards hiring superintendents without the candidate ever having managed even a single school as a principal. That is exactly what happened in Knox County, Tennessee in 2008, and the result since then is declining ACT performance and bad teacher morale http://www.wate.com/story/24207001/knox-county-teachers-worry-current-policies-are-causing-more-educators-to-quit.





Poor ACT scores and ACT readiness percentage of regular diplomas; excessive spending in areas that do not contribute to ACT achievement are all signs of poor management.

Teachers or any employees treated without respect, unprofessionally, restricted in their jobs resulting in the poor ACT score results, fooling the public with higher scores from the much weaker state tests, pushing teachers to change test results by changing scores, unemployable high school graduates in large numbers like more than 75% of those with a regular diploma not being ready to be trained for a job, are all signs of poor management. Teachers have very low morale. People with low morale cannot do their best. There are major problems in the classroom that remain unsolved because teachers are given no authority to solve them. Vague unmeasurable objectives on the board and superintendent level, politics replacing real performance and achievement of real objectives like an average ACT or SAT score; covering up of bad news about the important tests because their scores are poor; and publishing only news for the public that sounds positive is actually very damaging. As an end result, such school districts produce the majority of high school graduates WITH A REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, such that 74-90%+ of the students (depending on the state) with a regular diploma are NOT EVEN READY TO BE TRAINED FOR A JOB according to ACT. All of this is created by school districts that are managed very poorly on the elected board and superintendent level. The great majority are like that unfortunately. THEY ARE ACTUALLY CREATING AND RUNNING FAILURE FACTORIES, INSTEAD OF GRADUATES DEVELOPED READY FOR JOBS OR FURTHER EDUCATION. http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2011/12/broads-jim-mcintyre-gets-2-earfuls-from.html.

The needed improvement of our education results depends on how quickly we will recognize both our management and teacher challenges, and act to solve them all at the earliest. When 250 teachers show up at a board meeting, in an autocratically managed school district, that is very significant. In business, if you see a complaint, there are more than ten behind it with the same feelings who did not want to go public. That makes this entire school district's teachers very dissatisfied: http://www.wate.com/story/23897839/knox-county-teachers-voice-opposition-to-new-evaluations.

Fixing our poor education cannot happen without the public being informed of all the truth about education. Public support for changes is very important, and that is why our school districts have substantial numbers of full time professional PR staff on board, some more than we have seen in billion dollar corporations. One could legitimately ask why even one is needed in any school district to develop articles for the media that put the school district into a better light than what the entire truth really would about the school district's performance.

There is much more information of importance about teachers: click here.

What do three high performing countries do to retain teachers long term? The chart below explains. See also What brings success in other countries?








"Learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn."
Peter Drucker, 1909-2005, Father of 21st Century Management By Objectives

Good Morale, The Right Objectives, Annual Operating Plans, And Operating Ratios Without Which Success Will Be Elusive


Good morale is most important in every part of every organization. It is the result of all professional employees being well matched to job and well treated on the job. That does not mean selecting a friend or relative for the job, but someone who is experienced in what the job requires, and someone who is well matched to his/her job requirements, coworkers and bosses. This last one requires tests, like the Strong Interest Inventory correlated with the Myers-Briggs Psychological Inventory. I was fortunate enough to work in a company that did that. The result is happiness in the job, and looking forward to it every day. When 250 teachers complain openly in front of a board meeting, there are at least 2500 teachers who feel that way. The worst thing that any senior manager can do is to do a specific satisfaction survey with leading questions, as our supervisor has done, and decide that money is the problem but we could give only 2-3%. Money is never among the leading issues in morale problems. The workers' treatment by management is. Money is not effective because people get used to money very fast. Compensation needs to be competitive.

There must be two primary objectives for the board of education and the superintendent. It must be the key indicator of success or lack thereof for the organization. That is an average consolidated ACT score to achieve, that is at least 5% higher than the last one actually achieved. The second objective must be actual spending vs. the approved expense budget, monthly and year-to-date. Objectives are measurable so that they are not subject to argument. There are no other primary objectives, because additional primary objectives would dilute the focus that must be present at the top of the organization. There are secondary objectives that also must be measurable and specific, that clearly need to be achieved to reach the primary objectives. All management or supervisory employees must have such objectives, and only a few of them. Objectives must be established from the top down through management layers and then the workers, in order for the organization's focus to be set on the primary objectives. In other words it is not healthy to set objectives at lower levels first, because then conflict is guaranteed with higher ups. Such is the problem with setting teacher objectives, even if they were good choices, before the objective is agreed upon on the top of the organization.

The primary objectives must be the same as for the annual performance evaluation.

If one wants to achieve an annual primary objective, one better have monthly objectives to monitor progress.

One needs to have an annual operating plan, that is a collection of monthly objectives for all supervisory and management people within each division (school) of the organization (school district). Multi-year plans are worthless, because enough things change during the first year of a multi-year plan to make the annual operating plan a challenge. The communist countries were famous for five-year plans. They all failed. Now we see them in the education districts, and they are meaningless pretty documents for PR purposes. If they were effective, our results would be better. Many organizations require plans to be without adjectives and simply double typed with minimal graphics, and brief.

In an organization that has more than about 50 employees, the president/CEO or superintendent will need support staff to be effective. The challenge is that if he/she is inexperienced, to make up for his/her shortcomings or to deflect blame for failure, he/she will start adding additional staff, who will add more staff and the ever growing central management is born. They become self protective because they are smart people. Unfortunately that makes for an unresponsive management organization. There have been management studies about this subject comparing efficient and inefficient organizations, and such study has been done specifically in the education area. "Education Administration" by Drs. Lunenburg and Ornstein. Dr. Ornstein published more than 50 books and more than 2000 research papers focused on education management, and retired recently from the prestigious Saint John's University in New York City, where he was Dean of the Graduate School of Education. The referenced book says under Efficiency indicators: "In a survey of fifty-one school districts with more than 50,000 students in the USA, the student per administrator ratio at the central office averaged one manager per 569 students with a median at 578 students per administrator. The ranges were as high or efficient as one administrator per 1650 students, and as low as one administrator per 161 students. The researcher concluded that school districts should aim for one central administrator per 1200 students for the most efficient operation." This answers the question of how many administrators would be normal per student: it is 0.8%. The American Association Of School Administrators supports 1% of total district employees for total Central Management employees. Tennessee school districts have central managements that are 3-7 times larger than these numbers, and that is a big problem that is obstructing performance and money getting to the classroom.








"Learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn."
Peter Drucker, 1909-2005, Father of 21st Century Management By Objectives



COMPETITIVENESS: Is it important to be internationally competitive in knowledge as a high school graduate? Why?

Let's look at the individual ACT results below from Knox County, Tennessee high schools over eleven years. If the organization was well managed, most of the high schools should show a steady uptrend and not a disorderly downtrend. This is the result of lacking measurable academic test result objectives every month to focus the high schools in order for the school district to meet a growing average ACT score objective. Without that what we have is poor performance.


Why do we need to be competitive worldwide with high school performance? Why not just within the USA? Why should we compare our high school performance with other nations?

With airplanes, cars, television sets and radios the world became smaller, and nations became interdependent among each other because the entire world became everyone's market. We see imported products everywhere, don't we? Our companies want to sell their products and services internationally. There is a huge market out there. The best products for the money that customers liked the most sold well. They were American products through the 50's and the 60's. A few decades later, even the larger companies like an aircraft manufacturer may buy the jet engines in England or in the USA, have the wings manufactured elsewhere, various other parts would be purchased at hundreds of different international companies with final assembly in the USA. We stopped making electronics, televisions, large construction machines and other products because foreign suppliers could make them more innovative, less expensive and more reliable. All because the better trained workforce in other countries could create better, more reliable and less expensive products.

Why don't we purchase only US-made products? Because people or companies will always buy the products that they like. Because the desired quality for the price was no longer available from American companies. Successful companies require and have a well educated workforce, from the low end jobs to the highest, from a good high school education to a PhD in the specific fields that the employer needs. That is a basic requirement for the ability to create winning products which we did well until about the 70's. Then we started seeing a lot of imported products that were preferred by the American customer from the inexpensive to the very expensive. Today we lost entire industries. Look at what happened to the TV industry, electronics and others.

The quality of the product depends on the quality of the workforce, which then depends on the quality of education that the public schools do for the majority through high school. If the American high schools are not producing better educated students than foreign countries, the companies that hire them will be handicapped. The relationship between the quality of high school graduates and the competitiveness of the products of the companies that hire them, clearly shows that our high school school systems are in competition with other countries' high school systems. We are indirectly competing on the high school level with all countries. Their products are winning unfortunately. We dropped to 36th internationally in math in 2014, a new low record in the testing of 15 year olds (OECD PISA test published 2013 covering 65 nations). That is very bad news.




MORE ON RESULTS




"Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource."
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA


Isn't the high percentage of young people not being ready (80%+) a dangerous enough problem for boards, superintendents and lawmakers to act on it and fix it? Do we have to be above 90% not ready for them before action is taken to focus on a single primary objective, the ACT score?? Both the OECD PISA tests (65 nations) and the ACT publishes what the excellent performers do, what creates excellent results, so one need not discover any new solutions to see if they would work. They tell you what works.

VW's manufacturing operation in Chattanooga, Tennessee shows according to their CEO that after screening resumes, in the interviewing process only one candidate in twenty is found qualified for a manufacturing job. That is worse than the ACT's research conclusions.

How could our boards and superintendents allow such a damaging thing to happen?

MANAGING AND FOCUSING TO ACHIEVE THE RIGHT SINGLE PERFORMANCE AND SPENDING OBJECTIVE IS VITALLY IMPORTANT FOR IMPROVEMENT AND SUCCESS, ESPECIALLY IN POORLY PERFORMING ORGANIZATIONS. The education-related actions of our school board are NOT FOCUSED on THE single best indicator of achievement by the end of high school. That is an average ACT score objective that reflects at least a 5% growth showing high enough expectations. This also needs to become THE single objective for the board and superintendent. There are secondary objectives also. It covers all the things that supervisory employees must accomplish every month in every school and central management in order for the board and the superintendent to reach the single academic ACT objective. A good example of meaningless objectives is what Knox County calls 100/90/90/90 for almost a decade. Its details are at http://www.usaedustat.com/1sevenactions.html#100909090. We need ACT score focus in every school district, as the basis of performance evaluation for boards and superintendents. Without connecting the measurable ACT objective to performance evaluation of management, we cannot improve.


One cannot expect unhappy employees to do well. It appears that too many superintendents do not understand this and use an autocratic style. That is the outcome of putting a person into a job with insufficient experience AND management training unfortunately. When the board hired ours, he has not even managed a single school as principal, and managed support functions only. Putting such a person into a position to manage more than 85 schools and more than 8,000 employees is a disservice to both us and him. We are paying an enormous price for such a mistake.

The Knox County, Tennessee school district set an all time low ACT score record at 20.2 in 2013. After more than four decades of increasing spending per student and with results going nowhere, our board and superintendent had enough time to change this destructive trend. It is not helpful to accept any action you have taken, unless it raised the ACT average a lot closer to 24-25 to have 80-90% of graduates ready for the workforce or further education, and not 80% NOT READY as we stand today. The poor education is destroying our workforce and our children's lives.

In one chart above on this website, all of these figures were and are dismal since 2008 under the board of education and James McIntyre as superintendent. ANYONE CAN CLAIM THAT THEY HAVE DONE MANY GREAT THINGS. HOWEVER, IF THE AVERAGE ACT SCORE DID NOT MOVE INTO A MORE SUCCESSFUL AREA ABOVE 22, IT IS PAINFULLY OBVIOUS THAT NOTHING OF IMPORTANCE WAS DONE, REGARDLESS OF HOW GREAT THEIR STORY SOUNDS. Sources are the Tennessee Report Card, the ACT READINESS Report and the Tennessee Statistical Reports. For the chart, ACT CCR means ACT Career (job) and College Readiness percentage; explained at http://usaedustat.com/1actscoresexplained.html

99% of the black 9th graders are not ready after high school according to ACT. THIS IS A SOCIAL EXPLOSION IN THE MAKING. However, there is a chain of 32 public charter schools (Success Academies) in New York inner city areas. They take only poor inner city minority black students and a few Hispanics. They have been producing superior results compared to virtually all New York state schools. New York state is the 5th best performer in the USA while Tennessee is close to 35th. Obviously it is possible to do much better with black students from poor inner city families than we are doing in Tennessee! You just have to take action on it!

"Things may come to those who wait...but only the things left by those who hustle!"
Abraham Lincoln

The poorly educated workforce, mostly untrainable (80% per ACT), is a major concern of corporations who are paying most of the taxes. To do well, they need a well-trained workforce. They are holding onto cash instead of hiring. To survive, they will have to expand elsewhere or move entirely, or depend on the new generation of cognitive robots. This trend just started happening. Read about the first example in Japan (hotel staffed with robots) and in China (Shenzen China, FOXCONN, a million workers replaced). China and Japan have much better education results than we do. Their objective is clearly to provide the best quality services or products at the lowest cost in a competitive market without falling behind in either quality performance or cost. Expect such changes happening here on a much larger scale. We will not survive the poor objectives and lack of a professional annual operating plans on the school district management level.

The poor public school performance already damaged many of our children and our workforce. VW recently (2014) interviewed in one of our cities many for factory jobs they want to fill. After screening the resumes, only one in twenty qualified for a job. Our schools are creating a lot of people who will be unemployed in the future. Does this mean that too many of our children have been and are being damaged by our public school system? Absolutely! IT IS TIME FOR SERIOUS ACTION TO FIX THIS DESTRUCTIVE SYSTEM.





MORE ON SPENDING

"When the results are poor, money is not being spent on the right activities and/or people"




By law, the elected boards of education get at least as much money each year as in the previous year and can spend it any way they please - regardless of performance. Boards to date (before 2014) did not establish any objectives and operating plans to achieve them in order to raise the average ACT scores, and assumed that all that can be done will be done by the superintendents they have hired. Such avoidance of one's responsibility in a position of trust always results in poor outcomes. The results shown above are terrifying. However, more than 30 states managed to cut back education spending since 2008. Their academic results did not go down. See http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=4011.

Even with such reductions in spending, the US is the fifth largest spender per student among the industrialized countries in 2013, with the lowest academic performance among those nations. Our own education spending increases did not result in ACT score increases, and it is the ACT results that define readiness for work or higher learning. It is fair to say that the constant request for more money by the board is unjustified in view of the poor results.




The elected school boards and superintendents write their own objectives at the beginning of a school year, always vague or insignificant or unmeasurable. At year end they write up their own performance evaluation against the objectives THEY specified (board approved) and give themselves an excellent performance review. Such a practice never leads to good results. Their income and budget are guaranteed by law to be at least the same as what they received in the prior year. There is no incentive to perform to increase average ACT scores. There is a bloated central management organization with a large PR group to generate only good news to make the board and superintendent look better.

The excessive spending in the chart above covers all education related expenses that the state reports in their statistical reports annually, some of which the school district does not report to the public. There are other education district expenses that even the state figure does not show. For example, the school district's legal expenses are such. One wonders what other education expenses are hidden. TO FIND OUT, ONLY A FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE ENTIRE COUNTY WOULD SHOW SUCH EXPENSES. A FORENSIC AUDIT IS RESISTED FORCEFULLY BY THE EDUCATION DISTRICT. ONE WONDERS WHY. A forensic audit is more expensive than a normal audit. However, compared to the waste, it costs less, and it would have a disciplining impact on the careless spending.

We overspend the approved education budget by 28-38% every year. We spent $560 million in this school district alone in 2013. We are paying interest on more than half a billion dollars of mortgages including unused school real estate properties. Why don't we sell such properties and use such proceeds to reduce such interest expenses? The superintendent is not responsible for some of this area, and he should be responsible for all education related expenses. Per pupil, spending is higher than most of the top 20 performing countries in the world, and teacher morale, on whom the results depend, is poor. Neither the board of education nor the superintendent did anything that raised teacher morale. A 2-3% increase is considered as a solution, however, money is never the important solution. People get used to additional money fast, and the real problems arise again. In addition, a 2-3% raise is of no significance.

Our education system eagerly established objectives for teachers that are faulty in management practice. However, we do not have an ACT score objective on the board and the superintendent for performance evaluation where it is needed the most - on top. They prepare their own vague unmeasurable objectives and then THEY do their own performance evaluation with board approval. Unbelievable! Doesn't anyone realize on the state level how senseless and self-defeating such practice is from the management perspective? For good reason, a specific measurable objective setting must start on the top with the most important key indicator of success.

The superintendent creates beautiful, 50-75 page "Strategic" Five-Year Plans, with meaningless objectives like what Knox County called 100/90/90/90 for almost a decade. Its details are at http://www.usaedustat.com/1sevenactions.html#100909090. The board of education does not lead their only employee the superintendent. The superintendent leads the board of education. This superintendent never even managed a single school before he was hired for one of the largest school districts, ours. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THERE IS NO ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN IN WRITING THAT DEFINES WHAT MEASURABLE OBJECTIVE EACH MANAGER MUST ACHIEVE EACH MONTH IN EVERY SCHOOL AND CENTRAL MANAGEMENT, TO ACHIEVE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S ACT SCORE OBJECTIVE FOR THE YEAR.

Although they probably exist, I looked for but I have not found a single person on any board of education, state or district, or education department member in any state, who knew how poor our performance really is, understood the ACT readiness figures, knew who the top three high performance countries are in education, and most importantly what they are doing differently that could improve our performance.
We hope that the board and superintendent can explain why their practices and results are acceptable, let alone the best. No wonder our results are so poor. It should be obvious what actions we need to take to correct it. It is not more spending. However, if those who are to take action have no idea what to do, CHANGE THEM. Major changes need to be made, with excellent execution.

School district management doesn't know what top few actions (1-2) to focus on in an excellent manner. The results just keep going down with our schools making more than 80% of the 9th graders unemployable by the time they leave high school. That is a very high failure rate. We waste billions of the public's hard-earned tax dollars. Now the government will provide more of our tax dollars for two years of community college training for those who qualified for a regular high school diploma, with 80% not ready to be trained for a job. The way the public school districts are allowed to operate with the high failure rate is irresponsible by the state. The free two years of college will be helpful, but not enough. We must improve significantly job training readiness in high school to get much more out of the free two-year college program. The program should not just make up for the shortcomings of high school performance.

Our lawmakers are busy with a hundred different projects at any one time. Education is one of them. Some projects are more important than others. WE DO NOT GIVE EDUCATION ENOUGH IMPORTANCE. VERY IMPORTANTLY THE PUBLIC IS NOT BEING INFORMED OF THE POOR RESULTS THAT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS DELIVER. Why have not our lawmakers passed laws FOR DECADES to implement the above mentioned actions to make our secondary schools produce higher ACT scores AS OTHER NATIONS PASSED US? Isn't that the ultimate objective coming out of high school? To get to 80% readiness from the current unreadiness, our high schools today must produce an average ACT score of 24 minimum. This number is slowly increasing because future job requirements will grow even more aggressively than in the past as low end jobs will be automated more aggressively. Our poor high school performance is providing pressure on the robotics industry worldwide to provide an alternative to untrainable young people with the wrong attitude. The first result of cognitive robots will be visible by the end of 2015, targeted at more than 100 professions. We don't just need some actions from our legislators. We need urgent actions by legislators that increase the ACT scores like the action examples we mention above.

Why doesn't the state set operating ratios and standards in the above key areas? If we explained the public the above poor performance and what its results are on our children's lives and our economic future, it would be very helpful in making changes. The school district PR machines are large and well funded, and their stories for the public create the impression that "There is room for improvement, but we are doing well". Why is public education a "CAN'T DO" organization with no action for decades to correct it? The above gives many clues. WE THE PUBLIC DESERVE BETTER FOR OUR MONEY from the governor, legislators, boards of education and superintendents.

IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO REPLACE THE PERSON YOU HIRED WHEN THEY DID NOT DELIVER. YOU HAVE TO KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT WHAT NEEDS TO BE DELIVERED AND HOW TO DO IT, TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PERSON YOU HIRED DELIVERS!

IF THE PERSON YOU HIRED DOES NOT SHOW PROGRESS IN TWO YEARS, HOPEFULLY YOU CAN FIGURE OUT WHY SO THAT THE NEXT ONE YOU HIRE CAN PERFORM AS EXPECTED. DO NOT WAIT MORE THAN TWO YEARS WITH SOMEONE WHO KEEPS PRODUCING POOR RESULTS. YOU ARE DAMAGING OUR CHILDREN.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE IF YOU HIRED THE INDIVIDUAL WHO COULD NOT PERFORM WELL.











It is the board that is in charge and is responsible for the results under the law. The superintendent, their only employee, is to make sure that the objective set by the board is met. Vague objectives will always be met especially if you do your own performance evaluation - and that is the case unfortunately. If the people in charge are not motivated to increase ACT scores with a specific average ACT score objective, there is no motivation and no results. They get paid just the same. That is what we have.



Why would anyone be motivated to put in the extra effort to correct a poorly performing education system,

If their income is guaranteed,

If they have no specific measurable academic objective to meet,

If they receive at least the same amount of money to spend as before regardless of results by law, and

If they can spend the money in any way they want by law; even on a large professional PR group that turns out only positive news for the public who are unaware of the truth?


That is what we have in Knox County, Tennessee.





WE ACTUALLY SPEND TOO MUCH AND GENERATE POOR RESULTS FOR IT


In the chart below "What % of column 1 is higher than column 2" refers to how much higher actual education-related spending is in column 1, than the "unapproved" public budget spending in column 2. Unfortunately the "approved" budget at the start of the school year did not appear in these reports in the Tennessee Dept of Education's Statistical Report to the governor. Clearly the "approved" budgets for school districts are of no importance - a very bad practice in spending discipline.


For more go to: http://www.usaedustat.com/12013spendingvsperformance.html

In short:

When the results are poor, the money is not getting to the right places.

Our schools in Tennessee produce more than 80% of those students who earned a regular diploma, who are not even ready to be trained for a job according to ACT. In Knox County, Tennessee, the county we use as an example, we set an all time low ACT score record (with superintendent James McIntyre, and board chairs Karen Carson, Lynn Fugate). People who care (and/or don't know what to do) DO NOT DO THIS. Other states are not much better. A few are worse.

As presented above per the Tennessee Education Dept. Statistical Reports, approved budgets are outspent every year by a huge amount, and mean nothing. This is the people's money, the spending beyond approved budget's needs to be investigated. People who care and plan well DO NOT DO THIS. Other states are not much better. A few are worse.

According to Fortune Magazine (http://fortune.com/2014/06/10/most-corrupt-states-in-america/), Tennessee is the third most corrupt state in our country. No wonder we overspend the people's money every year in education and produce the third worst results from the bottom at the same time within the USA. Internationally, we dropped to 36th place in math - that's the bottom of the industrialized countries.

We need a forensic audit to identify exactly where the money went and why it was not getting to the right place in the school district, destroying most of our children's employability, our workforce and our economy as a result.




HIDING THE BAD RESULTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Proposed programs costing additional tens of millions of dollars in each state by school district management, did not and do not deliver higher act or sat scores. They are the only tests that show the real end of high school results. Could these kinds of ineffective actions be accidental after more than 40 years? No, they cannot and they require uniform statewide control via laws.

SCHOOL DISTRICT PR CAPABILITIES: There has been a significant increase in PR professionals over past decades within school districts to present "good" news and make sure that the poor ACT or SAT are kept from the tax-paying public who pay the bills.

This effort goes so far that school districts like Knox county, Tennessee, distribute the pr capability over several different groups and "partnerships" to increase the number of pr people significantly, hoping that this increase would be hidden. Why cover up the results that count to the public who actually pay the taxes to fund their children's education? The management people make a good living in the school districts and do not want to risk that with bad news. There is no state requirement to promote or publish the tests that are more meaningful (ACT or SAT or NAEP) with the same or higher frequency than the weaker state tests that show higher scores because they are easier tests. The exception is the new Common Core Test and many oppose it for this reason only. The Common Core test results must be published to the public with its scores in the original form. New York State was the first to publish it in August 2013.

We would recommend for reading OECD-PISA's analysis of US academic performance at http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/PISA-2012-results-US.pdf. This organization tests the best educational performers internationally with 34 member countries, plus associate countries totaling 65 countries in total. The following article presents a broad and accurate overview of worldwide education spending and performance and how we fit into it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/25/oecd-education-report_n_3496875.html.

Reference: http://usaedustat.com/1actscoresexplained.html



We have a unique situation in that US education results are very poor and keep going down compared to the international competition, our workforce is weakening so much that attracting employers with tax incentives no longer works in the lower performing states. If we do not improve significantly, we could end up discouraging all employers who are able to move elsewhere.

On what basis can anyone condone, and approve (as a county Commissioner or mayor) monies of the people to be spent in hundreds of millions of dollars every year, without requiring that an ACT score objective be met for such monies that is at least 5% higher than the last average ACT score achieved, and that such an objective also be made THE board's and superintendent's performance objective, counting at least 60% of their annual performance evaluation?


Don't we have an implicit responsibility to the public to do so?

Don't we also have an implicit responsibility not to mislead the people whose money we are spending?

Don't we have an implicit responsibility NOT TO USE ONLY the much weaker and meaningless TCAP state scores to call the superintendent a Miracle Maker as a local paper did, while not mentioning the all time low score on the ACT test achieved in 2013, whose results mean a disastrous future for 79% of those children who earned a regular diploma?




THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION LOOKING AHEAD TO 2020-2022

What is certain in this world is change. Faster change than before. What is also certain is that some people will be hurt by change and many others will be afraid of change, perhaps made fearful by the people who do not want change and the unknown. BUT HOW CAN ANYONE IGNORE THE FACT THAT 80% OF THE CHILDREN WHO ENTERED 9TH GRADE WILL BE PUT INTO A LOSING SITUATION WITH THE POOR JOB WITH WHICH THEY ARE LEAVING HIGH SCHOOL. WE CANNOT LEAVE SUCH A SYSTEM IN PLACE WITHOUT A MAJOR CHANGE. WE DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE. WE MUST CHANGE OR WE WILL BECOME A THIRD WORLD NATION WITH A TERRIBLE LIFE.

Teachers are the part of the education system who deliver the necessary level of knowledge to our children to get them ready to learn more for higher level jobs, or to be trained for a job by an employer. Today, the best lectures, the best tutorials are available from the Internet from the best minds on ANY subject (go to "Great Learning Tools" in the menu above). TODAY, the best universities like MIT and Stanford offer the public for their child to learn on the Internet and earn a fully accredited high school diploma OR MORE, for much less money than what public education is costing us per student (Example 1: http://www.pgbovine.net/advantages-of-name-brand-school.htm, Example 2: http://ohs.stanford.edu/, Example 3: http://www.lincolnonlinehs.com/index-landing.php?gclid=CKKey_KCs7wCFZRr7AodGH8A6g). It should be very obvious to everyone that primary and secondary education will change, and the old schema of public education that is producing poor results will disappear whether we like it or not. Who are the best positioned people to take advantage of this opportunity? They are the great teachers of today who understand this picture, and who want to deliver an excellent result: high school graduates who match the best international performers in the world. Nothing remains the same. Things are changing faster and faster. Public schools will not go away. Some will change and become excellent. Others will disappear. In the best performing nations like Finland, Canada and Singapore, public schools are very successful. In Finland even private schools are financed by the government and their standards are controlled by the government. Any fears about people like Bill Gates or Common Core Curriculum and its test are totally unfounded, spread by people who want to preserve status quo.

No changes would come if the results were not so poor and damaging to the great majority of our children's lives and to our economic future.

The trio that wants to preserve status quo at any cost: Boards of education in education districts, teachers unions, and foundations that solicit funds from the public to support only the education districts, do promote the state of education in a much more positive light than what reality is. Many people in the management of these organizations make an excellent living from our schools' poor performance by pressing for and getting more money "to save our children". The system worked a hundred years ago, but it is not working well enough today. THERE IS NO PERSONAL INCENTIVE FOR THEM IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO DO OTHERWISE. Boards and superintendents having to meet an average ACT or SAT score objective would change that in a hurry. Teachers are not treated well by central management and their morale is low. Many of them would welcome change.

THE UNSOLVED DESTRUCTIVE DISCIPLINE PROBLEM IN THE CLASSROOM: Imagine working in an office where a few employees call your boss derogatory four-letter names to his/her face and pour pee in his/her coffee behind his/her back or throw various objects or even feces at him or her; all of this in front of other employees. Can you imagine what would be done immediately with such an employee in any place of employment? He or she would be fired immediately. This is done to our teachers (the "boss") by a minority of students ("employees") and it disturbs the entire class for a day or more in each and every case. The worse the school, the more often this happens. Unfortunately we have many such poor schools. The teachers can report it to the principal but can do nothing about it. The offending student may be sent home, but will be back the next day, a hero now to a few other kids. The teacher's authority suffers another blow and he/she becomes an easier target, because he/she has no authority. How can anyone expect a teacher to have high morale and do their best without any authority to deal with such behaviors on the spot? How could anyone achieve anything under such barbaric conditions? See more important data about teachers at www.usaedustat.com/index.html#howareteachers.


The biggest impact will come very soon through a new generation of robots that are cognitive, multilingual and can learn and make decisions. Artificial intelligence passed average human intelligence in 2014. We will see the first cognitive robots entering the US in 2015 that will compete for the jobs of many with a high school education or less. They will certainly be welcome by businesses who cannot find workforce without a bad attitude, who can communicate well and know more than basic math. They will cost less than minimum wage, and they will rapidly improve, just by downloading artificial intelligence and job knowledge, like a PC can today. One of 125 jobs being implemented with them is an assistant teacher. We think that the end of employability for those not having been well prepared in high school is within two years, by 2017.

Good performance results only from setting the correct objective, making it a personal performance objective for the board, superintendent and central management leaders such that it counts for their annual performance review, and the importance of having an operating plan to ensure the achievement of the annual objective.

A measurable objective has to exist first, one that is a key indicator of the entity's successful operations. The objective cannot be vague, like increase the number of graduates in a school system, because just getting a diploma does not mean that all graduates with a diploma are ready for job training or to enter a college or technical school. The objective also needs to include a numerical target, in this case the percentage or number of students graduating. Unfortunately in virtually all states in the USA only a small percentage of high school graduates with a regular diploma are prepared to be trained for a job (24% according to ACT in 2013), or to go on to further learning. The school systems promote the percentage of diplomas achieved in order to look good, but not the readiness figures. Furthermore, some states created their own readiness definition of high school graduates, that present better results, than the readiness figures published annually by ACT that tests students nationally and conducted empirical research since 2000 in order to provide precise readiness indicators.

For testing, ACT, SAT and NAEP are the reliable national tests. For percentage of high school graduates with a regular diploma, who are ready for employment training or to finish only the first year of a college or technical school, the ACT is a reliable source.

Objective setting needs to start at the top of an organization, as with a school board and superintendent, and then trickle down through the management layers to teachers, in order for the entire organization to be in harmony to work toward the same objective. Unfortunately education is unique in not investing in management training, and therefore management problems are common (e.g., low teacher morale, autocratic management styles, poor results). Again the objective must be THE key indicator of the school system that measures academic performance, such as an average ACT or SAT score, or ACT's Career and College Readiness Percentage of Regular Diplomas, for the school district or a high school. For elementary schools the state test would suffice, provided that the average raw score is used for an objective and not a "cut score" that is used to "translate" the poor raw scores to better looking scores for the public.

If one wants good performance, then such objective like an average ACT score must constitute at least 60% of the annual performance evaluations for the board, superintendent and central management senior staff at minimum. Lastly a professionally prepared operating plan per school and for Central Management is essential with monthly objectives, to ensure that the school district ACT, or SAT annual objective is achieved.

“Things may come to those who wait...but only the things left by those who hustle!”

Abraham Lincoln



PUBLIC SCHOOL SPENDING IS GUARANTEED BY LAW TO INCREASE WITHOUT ANY CONDITION RELATING TO PERFORMANCE ACHIEVED:

Public school spending per student is guaranteed by law to be as high as the maximum a school district ever received in prior years, regardless of the results produced; they have no performance-based risk or salary reduction risk based on achieving or not achieving an objective that is based on a national test like an average ACT score or a specific percentage of regular diplomas under ACT's Career and College Readiness report. Why? Because the school board and superintendent create their own vague objectives, AND they do their own performance evaluation (the board just approves the superintendent's). WHAT KIND OF EFFORT CAN BE EXPECTED WITH SUCH AN "INCENTIVE" RIGHT ON TOP OF AN ORGANIZATION? For example a superintendent can perform so badly that he/she sets an all time low record in ACT scores, deliver high school graduates with regular diplomas 79% of whom are not even ready to be trained for a job according to ACT's Career and College Readiness Report, and the board will give him an excellent performance review and guarantee his/her $250K+ annual compensation package for four more years - every year, giving away the public's hard-earned tax dollars for the superintendent's poor performance. Who would want to see any change that risks their job under those conditions? This system actually rewards poor performance.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing!!"

Edmund Burke, Irish statesman, 1776




IT APPEARS THAT EXCELLENT INNER CITY SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IS POSSIBLE


New York is one of the best performing states in education in the USA. The best example for excellent inner city performance is a charter school network called the Success Academies in New York City. See also THIS. In 2006 a charter school was formed in Harlem, NYC, the Harlem Success Academy, that scored 5th and 6th in reading and math tests in New York State by 2009. The inner city parents, who many think do not care, beat their doors down to get their children into this school. In December 2013 they have 20 schools with approximately 80% black children, the rest Hispanics, all from poor families, with plans to open 100 by the end of this decade (up from 40 in the original plan). New York State was the first to publish to the public the new Common Core Test results in August 2013. The Common Core Test scores are published unadulterated by law, without "cut scores" that are normally used with state tests to show higher scores (like a 45% score is presented as a "B"). New York State published them first in August 2013 (47 states will do so by 2015). Reference: http://excelined.org/common-core-toolkit/information-common-misconceptions/.


There is no doubt that current law is too supportive of students who are a discipline problem and perhaps in other areas as well the law is burdening the education system.

If that is so, then what requests have boards and superintendents sent to the governor's attention and to legislators to change the laws that load the public school system with unreasonably bad behavior by a few, resulting in poor performance for many additional children, by disturbing the teachers' ability to teach and the students' ability to learn more. Should such a child be part of the public school system reducing the school districts' performance or should they be part of a special school system? In fact, should some of them be schooled at all? For what end if they will be unemployable? Our schools should not be a baby sitting service. We are just asking the question if the schooling for some children should be different such that they do not drag down the teachers and the other children who are willing to learn.

The public was shocked with average public school performance in the 35-45% area with New York State's Common Core test results in 2013. But the Harlem Success Academy, now called Success Academies (Ref. 1, Ref. 2, Ref. 3) scored more than twice as high, with poor inner city children. What is important to note is that this school has a proprietary continuing teacher education program in place. Why don't our state public school leaders learn from the top international and domestic performers? They all produce superior performance with less spending per student.

The public was and is not made aware of our disastrous performance WITH THEIR MONEY. But they were informed of all news that sounds/looks good, however insignificant, via newspapers and media.

The outcome for our survival depends on whether or not the public will become aware of the truth or not, because public support is essential for any change. So far the public was not given the information that shows how poorly we are doing, and what that will do to the upcoming generation's life.





"Learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn."
Peter Drucker, 1909-2005, Father of 21st Century Management By Objectives



HOW IS THE PUBLIC MISINFORMED?

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
Lenin (1870 - 1924)

Disinformation or misinformation is created not only through repeated lies, but also by presenting news frequently that sounds good although it may be meaningless, or news that is good but insignificant, but keeping important news that is not positive quiet. In both cases the entire truth is not presented, especially the truth that is more important and significant for the good of the public. Unfortunately, it is very common in the way education districts and the media present our education results.

It stands to reason that if a school district is spending $560 million per year in 2014, including ALL education-related expenses not disclosed to the public, like capital and interest expenses, AND the fact that their ACT Career and College Readiness percentage of regular diplomas is only 20% counting from 9th grade entries (meaning that 80% with a regular diploma cannot even be trained for a job), a large portion of the money is not being spent correctly to produce good results, and they have serious management problems.


We feel that the public who pays their hard-earned tax dollars for our public education system, deserves to know the entire truth about how well their children are educated, and what the education they receive will do to prepare them for a reasonably tough but successful life to be able to maintain a family of four. The important thing is not just to present good news to make a good impression on those who pay the bills, as we currently do. The important thing is to tell the truth, the good and the bad, so that we can together go after what is not going well and correct it. I fear for what is happening to our country.

Is a good grade or grade-improvement promoted by a school district or newspaper or the media always means the truth about our children's education? Are articles in the local newspapers, that are telling the population how great a job the school district is doing, always truthful and tell the entire truth?

Unfortunately, not. Positive comments about state test-based scores are meaningless, except for Florida. Florida's state test rigor is in the ACT, SAT, NAEP rigor whereas other state tests are much weaker. Such state tests are weak for the purpose of showing higher grades, and the difference is so great that an A or B grade can mean a failure in reality. Such tests are used to qualify for federal aid dollars and to create the impression for the public that the school system is doing well, when in fact it is doing poorly.

The national test results (ACT, SAT, NAEP) on the other hand represent the students' knowledge correctly as it relates to becoming employable or entering a college or technical school after high school, or being internationally compatible. There is very important good news in Tennessee in 2013: the NAEP test results for grades 4 and 8 have improved more than any other state, coming close to national average, setting an all time high for the state (http://www.niet.org/niet-newsroom/niet-press-releases/statement-from-the-national-institute-for-excellence-in-teaching-on-the-2013-naep-results/ and http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/states/).



Many of the new Tennessee elementary school standards are working. The NAEP represents high rigor testing every other year and its improved record setting scores are much more significant than the much weaker state test scores called the TCAP.

GRADE IMPROVEMENT sounds positive, but it may or may not be important. The maximum ACT score is 36. As the average ACT score increases, it does not represent a proportional increase in the regular diploma holders' readiness to be ready to be trained for a job. For example, an average ACT score of 21 means that only about 20% of those with a regular diploma will be ready to be trained for a job, and 80% will NOT be ready to be trained for a job. But the situation changes fast once we get the average ACT score above 22. To achieve an 80% readiness for job training or to finish only the first year of college or a technical school those with a regular diploma would need to be close to an average ACT score of 24. Job trainability readiness that it is not something to celebrate. A 0.5-1.0 average ACT increase at the lower numbers do not change job training readiness much. But such a change above an average ACT score of 22-23 brings big improvement in the "readiness" percentage of regular diplomas for job or college training.

Unfortunately our poorly performing school districts make any improvement positive news, sometimes so extreme that a publisher in Knoxville, Tennessee called the superintendent a Miracle Maker for an A or B Tennessee state test result that is absolutely meaningless because it represented less than 30% good answers on a test. The Tennessee state test (TCAP not the NAEP) is too easy in order to produce high grades, but in reality it represents F level performance for a 45-50% score when compared to ACT's measurement for job or college readiness; not an A or B. Under the same superintendent also in 2013 we set an all time low record in the average ACT score at 20.2 that represents only 21% of the regular diplomas being ready for job training or to complete only the first year of college or a tech school; with 79% of those graduates with a regular diploma not being ready. They are minimum wage candidates. But the publisher chose not to mention that, when the ACT score was the more important information. This is what journalism has become in many places. We are presenting that article as an example further down below. The point is that the public is informed only by what appears to be good news, but they are not told about the bad results that really count. One can legitimately wonder why such journalism misrepresents the results coming out of our schools, when we, the public, are paying for it.



Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA



UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE:


WHEN WE NEED THIS!
WE START WITH THEM...
AND THEN, OUR SCHOOL BOARDS AND SUPERINTENDENTS DO THIS TO MOST OF THEM...ON OUR DIME AS THEY BLAME OTHERS.
PLEASE...JUST LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE WITHIN THIS WEBSITE. IT IS UNBELIEVABLE...BUT THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING AND IT MUST CHANGE.


"The most pressing task is to teach people how to learn."
Peter Drucker, 1909-2005, Father of 21st Century Management By Objectives

WHY WE MUST IMPROVE URGENTLY: It Is A Good Idea To Peek Into The Future With The Videos Below To Understand Why Better Education Than What We Currently Have Is Absolutely Vital For The Future Existence Of Our Children.



Dr. Michio Kaku, world famous scientist, in "America has a secret weapon":


What will the future look like? The reason for more education:


...and if you would like to understand more about the future in depth, here is Dr. Kurzweil, a world famous scientist.


"Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource."
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA

If your child is going to a public high school where 80% of those who entered 9th grade will be employable only in a minimum wage job and become often jobless, would you favor as a parent the option of:

  • Being able to transfer what the public school spends per student to a school for your child where more than 80% of the children will be prepared to go to college or a tech school and finish it successfully?

  • Would you care if that good school is a Christian school or is the readiness of your child after high school more important?

  • Do you care if the school that produces an 80% failure rate, loses the per pupil expense for children if the option existed for them to be transferred to a school where they get a good education?

  • If a school has a very high rate of unreadiness after leaving high school, like 90%, counting from 9th grade entry, who will be only marginally employable. If the school's performance could not be changed over four years, should we keep spending the money on them, or transfer the children to a good school and close the bad school?

  • If a child disturbs the teaching by bullying or any other bad behavior in or outside of the classroom, should he be suspended for months to a year and should his/her parent be fined $250-500? Some states are doing that.






Copyright(c) 2008-2015 V. Spencer
This is a work in progress.