MOST IMPORTANT: URGENT ACTIONS NEEDED

TO PREVENT A MAJOR PUBLIC DISASTER IN RESPONSE TO THE POOR PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR OUR CHILDREN. IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN PURPOSEFULLY DOWNGRADED WITHOUT ANY CORRECTIVE ACTION BY EITHER THE DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN PARTIES.

 





Mathematics in art, nature, architecture and the universe: The Fibonacci Curve. Named after an Italian mathematician of the 12th Century, this curve has special strength and beauty in nature, and the rectangles formed by it in architecture or any human creation, have a special positive effect on the human observer. This ratio of 1:1.618, is known as the Golden Ratio. It was used in architecture long before Fibonacci. The galaxy in the background is the Milky Way, a hundred billion light years wide, a small to average size in Galaxies. There are about 200 billion galaxies in our universe - as of 2019. There are so many fantastic things to learn! But we are moving in the other direction as well. We started making things with 100 nanometer precision. That's the size roughly of the smallest atom. We can learn about fantastic details about plants, materials, the human body, EVERYTHING! And this is just a start in 2019. If we discovered all this, we could surely make education much easier than what it is, much more fun than what it is, we could have the best teachers in the world to learn from, and with the "AnywhereClassroom" that is the Internet itself, we could learn and actually do almost anything today!!



Preamble to the Constitution of more than 200 years ago: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, promote the general Welfare ... and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America". There was no Education organizational structure 200 years ago, but education itself was mentioned as important in the Founding Fathers' private letters, and it is evident that it was not a purposeful exclusion because it was not important. It is not unreasonable therefore to assume that the absence of public education in the Constitution was for that reason. Today, our education is at one of the highest expenses per student in the world. It is a huge expense to the citizens, that should be delivering excellent results, as it does in many other countries. But it does not. For all the money we are spending on education, we deliver the worst results in the industrialized world. The poor performance in Tennessee and other states is already violating domestic Tranquility by creating consequential results that will create increasing poverty, total lack of employment for the great majority of today's graduates, and their children and grandchildren. The enormous hardships and dissatisfaction within society when it is discovered by the population that public education was much worse than what political and education system leadership repeatedly told them for many years. The education system and political leadership's lack of courage and moral weakness WILL CREATE acts against domestic Tranquility WHEN DISCOVERED, and IT IS ALREADY DAMAGING the general Welfare of these United States of America of which Tennessee is a part.

 

 

 

We would welcome any challenge to our belief of this huge problem being created for Tennessee and other states by their old style public education system and political leaders. The states' economy cannot depend on the lack of competence within the education systems. More than 90% of our graduating students should be ACT Ready in all our schools, not just 3-54%. It makes no logical sense to have different curricula developed, different tests purchased for about $200 million in each state (AND THEN DUMBED DOWN WITH "CUT SCORES), different education policies, different teacher training. Principal, superintendent, and teacher qualification standards should be high and should be the same for every state. BUT NOT WITH PEOPLE WHOSE QUALIFICATIONS CAN PRODUCE ONLY WHAT ONE SEES ON THE A.C.T. RESULTS FOR TWO DECADES!! We duplicate staffing in each state and in many cases in every one of 13,500 school districts. Why duplicate for each state all the people for the functions that should be the same in each state? Did the many decades of history show that such duplication cost more, but produced better results? NO IT DID NOT. IT PRODUCED BAD RESULTS ALWAYS LIKE WHAT YOU SEE IN THE CHART. Just look at the chart again. The education community insist that elected boards represent the local population, which is the best way to produce the best results (like in the last twenty years?!), and we have 13,500 school districts with their elected boards cooking up their own goulash?! THIS IS VERY DISTURBING, SINCE GOVERNORS AND POLITICIANS TELL THE PUBLIC HOW GREAT EVERYTHING IS, WHICH IS NOT TRUE.

 

 

 

These practices may have been a good idea 100 years ago perhaps, WHEN IT DID NOT CREATE BAD PROBLEMS, but not today. WE WENT FROM THE HORSE & BUGGY TO THE MOON IN THE LAST 100 YEARS! MANY-MANY THINGS CHANGED, BUT THE EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN CHANGED VERY LITTLE.

 

 

 

If you do not think so, look at two 8th grade final exams from more than 100 years ago: one is from 1895, and the other is from 1912. We are ashamed to say that we live in a much more advanced society than what we had more than 100 years ago, with the exception of our public schools. Our children would need to have a much more complex 8th grade exam than the two very old exams from the past. But we do not, and the great majority of high school graduates are not prepared to be employable. But...we are the biggest spenders per student in the world! These old tests could be a challenge to a lot of high school graduates today. Considering the fact that today's world requires better communications, more mathematics and science for high school graduates and our workforce and various industries to succeed, it appears that our schools in the first eight grades are not performing as well as our schools did more than 100 years ago, with almost all public high school graduates not being ready with fundamental things like reading and communicating properly, basic math knowledge is dismal and their attitude is so bad, that replacement by robots is becoming urgent and less expensive in more and more applications.

 

 

The truth is that with them the results have been very poor and they did not contribute any to improvement. Look at the central management organizations in the 13,500 school districts in the USA. They are bloated! Not just 5-15%, but as much as 800%. This is all big money. If we hired the right people, and that also is a big question mark, wouldn't all that money be more helpful and wouldn't it produce better results in the classrooms? Of course it would.

 



It is the school system, the first twelve grades through the FORMATIVE YEARS that create a long-term, life long impression in children, feelings toward work, attitudes toward work and people, what and who they like or don't like, honest work or not. Political leaders and representatives want to keep their jobs and do not want to be voted out. The Education Lobby is powerful and could replace a politician by creating a poor impression of them in the public eye. I spoke to enough of them, with drinks at times, for this to come out loud and clear as a concern that limits the support of such legislators to correct our failing education system.

 


What is the most important indicator of how our schools are doing? It is the ACT scores and the readiness percentage of graduates. Looking at the 20 year disastrous ACT performance below, and employers' opinions of our high school graduates, plus the international tests, all indicate that our public education has been dropping for several decades in an environment where more frequent technological changes require the exact opposite, a much better educated workforce and population. Notice that any change proposed and passed to date "to improve our children's education", does not improve anything within the school system such that it increases ACT or SAT student performance, AND THE PROBLEMS ARE ALL WITHIN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, THEIR STANDARDS, THEIR POOR TRAINING THAT PRODUCE THE BAD RESULTS AND THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENTS. THE IMPROVEMENT MUST TAKE PLACE EVERYWHERE AND ALSO WITHIN THE SCHOOLS. The school system does not want any change. Our political leadership is afraid of the education lobby. And the idea how the school systems must change to create 90% successful adults for the future, from the current 80%+ failures who will be unemployable, is done. The idea of the school system managing itself to be the best is alive in a good number of countries. The ideas to be the best, died in Tennessee. But legislators propose plans that sound good, but have only a minor or no effect on changing the existing failure rate of our system. BAND-AID solutions in this kind of situation never worked and never will work, but they cost more money. It is interesting that our legislators make no proposals for changes within the education system itself, that actually cause and caused our education system to become the worst among industrialized countries. Why not?

 



Let's look at what would increase our ACT scores, because that is the only solution to correct the problem. Let's look at first what we have been doing for the last twenty years. LET US REPEAT: IT IS THE A.C.T. TEST SCORES THAT REPRESENTS FAIRLY THE STATE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN TENNESSEE, AND THEY MUST GO UP A LOT TO IMPROVE OUR CHILDREN'S CHANCES OF SUCCESS. THE AVERAGE A.C.T. SCORE SHOULD BE ABOVE 27 TO BE COMPETITIVE WITH THE BOTTOM OF THE TOP 20 COUNTRIES IN EDUCATION AS MEASURED BY OECD-PISA.

 

 

WHY IS IT THAT THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATION NEVER PROPOSED LET ALONE APPROVED CHANGES IN LAWS FOR ACTIONS THAT WOULD HAVE RAISED THE A.C.T. SCORES IF THE CHANGE HAD TO BE MADE WITHIN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM?

 

 

WHY IS IT THAT THE GOVERNOR AND OR LAGISLATORS APPROVED ONLY PROGRAMS THAT COST MONEY, DID NOT INCREASE THE A.C.T. SCORES, AND CHANGED NOTHING WITHIN THE FAILING SYSTEM ITSELF, ARE A BIG PROBLEM IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. WHY NOT? BECAUSE SCHOOL PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED BY MAKING CHANGES IN SCHOOLS OR THROUGH SCHOOLS' MANAGEMENT ONLY. ONCE THE CHILD WENT THROUGH THE FORMATIVE YEARS IN SCHOOLS THAT PRODUCED BAD RESULTS, SUCH AFTER HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS COST A LOT MORE MONEY AND THE RESULTS ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. A "BAND-AID" SOLUTION AFTER HIGH SCHOOL WITH SPENDING MORE MONEY FOR REMEDIAL EDUCATION AFTER HIGH SCHOOL WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM THAT THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CREATED.

 

 

MOST OF OUR INDUSTRIES AND COMPANIES WITHIN THEM COMPETE WITH FOREIGN COMPANIES' PRODUCTS OR SERVICES BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE USA. OUR WORK FORCES NEED TO BE INTERNATIONALLY COMPETITIVE TO BE ABLE TO CREATE COMPETITIVE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. OUR HIGH SCHOOLS CREATE THE USA WORK FORCE CANDIDATES, AND THEREFORE IT IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO BE INTERNATIONALLY COMPETITIVE. TODAY WE ARE FAR FROM IT.

 

 

WHY IS IT THAT OUR GOVERNORS DID NOT AND DO NOT TAKE ANY ACTION TO CHANGE THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM SO THAT IT GRADUATES ONLY WELL QUALIFIED GRADUATES BASED ON INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS, AND DOES NOT GRADUATE THOSE WHO ARE UNQUALIFIED?

 

 

WHY IS IT THAT OUR GOVERNORS DID NOT AND DO NOT TAKE ACTION TO IMPROVE TEACHER SELECTION AND QUALIFICATION TO THE BEST INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS, THAT REQUIRE A MASTER'S DEGREE IN MANAGEMENT FOR APPOINTMENT TO BECOMING A PRINCIPAL OR SUPERINTENDENT?

 

 

WHY IS IT THAT OUR GOVERNORS DO NOT TAKE ANY ACTION THAT WOULD RAISE THE ACT SCORES FROM ITS CURRENT LOW LEVEL OF 21 REPRESENTING 84% OF GRADUATING STUDENTS NOT BEING READY, TO 27 AVERAGE CONSOLIDATED ACT LEVEL, TO RAISE THE GRADUATING CLASSES READINESS FROM LESS THAN 50% TO 80% OF THOSE WHO EARN A DIPLOMA TO GRADUATE?

 

 

Public education in Tennessee graduates 84% of our children who are NOT READY OR PREPARED. Please read again about what "ACT Readiness" means. These 84% poor children who are not ready, will be "dead" economically. That's about the same odds as if Tennessee political leadership appointed one doctor, Dr. Jose Matador, an amateur proctologist from Peru, with Astronomy as a hobby, he likes to watch stars with monoculars, to head the Tennessee Department of Education. Dr. Matador was an amateur bullfighter in Barcelona before becoming a proctologist. He was a specialist in BS (Bullfighting Science).

 

 

 

More than 80% of our children who graduated from Tennessee public schools will not survive economically. Look at the ACT chart. 80% or more are not ACT Ready. ACT Readiness means that those poor children who are not ACT Ready, cannot get any education that will provide for minimum survival, because such children do not have a chance of passing any university course (chance less than 50%) and any meaningful job will require training with an ACT mathematics score today that is higher than the ACT Readiness mathematics benchmark.

 

 



The ACT chart above represents an extremely poor job done by the state education department. And the buck stops with the governors of the state because they did nothing about it. I am sorry, but this appears to be absolutely shameful. When we ask them confidentially why, there are no answers coming back from anyone. Our state and country does not deserve this. Our teachers do not deserve the working conditions they work under and the declining quality of teacher education they received. Our children do not deserve this, especially since the people's, our taxes pay the highest rate per student in the world and we the people pay the most money for the worst public education that makes us last in the industrialized world in high school mathematics. WE DESERVE BETTER, AND WE DESERVE ANSWERS TO OUR QUESTIONS. BUT WHAT WE DESERVE THE MOST IS ACTIONS ON ALL ITEMS BELOW.





 


We do not think that it is all right to continue such poor education even for a minute, let alone for decades. It dumbs down our children, weakens our workforce and weakens our country like no other external enemy could. Our public schools have been doing this since 1970.

What's wrong with us? Have we become so dumbed down that we cannot even understand simple things in order to improve the future of our own country by getting our own children educated such that they can be as well educated as 30-40 other countries' children are?



 

IT IS THE SCHOOL SYSTEM ITSELF THAT NEEDS CHANGES IN SEVERAL AREAS TO IMPROVE. VERY STRANGELY, ANY EFFORT TO "IMPROVE EDUCATION" SO FAR DOES NOT FIX ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT WITHIN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM.



  1. Why don't we tell the public the unvarnished truth about what happened to our public education, what our specific national and state ACT objectives are and truthfully tell the public what worked in the plan, what did not work and what we will do about any areas that did and do not work well enough.


  2. Discontinue urgently the focus on graduating 90% of high school students regardless of academic growth, because no ACT score objective ever existed in the individual school districts. Just drop the graduation emphasis. LOOK WHAT IT HAS CREATED IN THE CHART ABOVE. The attitude, policy, and focus only on graduation produced only the wrong results for decades, because learning suffered. Such practice puts emphasis on cheating by encouraging the school districts to change grades and to graduate children when they are not prepared. It helps the state Department of Education since they dumbed down the state test with a practice called "cut scores." to show better grades with less knowledge. WE MUST DISCONTINUE such practices. It is the level of knowledge that is important for employers and universities, who end up with the high school grads.


  3. WE MUST FOCUS SCHOOLS ON WHAT NEEDS TO BE ACHIEVED AS AN ACT SCORE. Establish the use of an annual ACT objective that is 10% higher than the prior year's actual ACT average. That will restore academic focus that will increase graduation rates as well as ACT readiness percentages. Setting lower objectives do not work well in low performing situations. Setting goals that are a stretch WORK VERY WELL – people rise to expectations. This is especially important when an organization performs poorly.


  4. The state is requiring school districts to set objectives without explaining what the practice of "Management by Objectives" requires. Management by Objectives also requires a specific one-year operating plan. As a result, the elected school boards decide upon objectives that are irrelevant or unmeasurable, making such goals or objectives useless. With such a response the way people work does not change and therefore the results go unchanged as well. Read here about important management-related details that are vital in such situations.


  5. Since schools generate the results, we must establish monthly "year-to-date" GPA objectives in every class and every school using "total per school student averages", and not "total per school class averages". In each school, there must be also a one year operating plan that shows what each supervisory employee and each teacher must accomplish as an objective (the teachers' objective we already defined). Establish a working system manually, and in parallel develop or buy one if available, a MULTI-USER database management software package that could be modified to be used in the school district first, then if it works well, statewide by every school and district. It would be for managing each school's and school district's monthly objective vs. actual GPA results year-to-date, per class and school to have every month a precise indication of where we are weak, to correct such situations immediately. Refine this system by establishing a classroom and school 3-year GPA average, by creating via software such a 3 -year GPA average for every child to easily calculate classroom or school base-line performance IF ONE WISHES TO MEASURE THAT FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE.


  6. Teacher training at USA universities and colleges significantly declined during the past two decades. Excellent teachers are essential. Teachers not only need to be very well educated, on a 6-7 year master's level in the subject that they would teach, but must love their field so much that they would keep up to date in their field's developments, and be very excited about their subject with students so that the students get excited. PLEASE SEE WHAT WE ARE FACING HERE. Therefore, matching candidates from the top 25% of their master's classes, and also matching them to the teaching profession (using, e.g., the "Strong Interest Inventory" and correlate IT with the "Briggs-Myers Intelligence Inventory") are significant. So is the guidance of teachers toward a different job if they are not excellent in teaching.


  7. Management training is severely lacking in education. It is necessary for anyone who is going to become a principal or superintendent before they are promoted, and it would not be acceptable to have the education department of a university to provide any of the master's or Ph.D. programs about the subject that the candidate would teach or master's in management.


  8. No organization becomes excellent without competitive pressure. To this end, separate charter school management from traditional public k-12 school management and raise the level of charter schools to be 10% of all k-12 schools, such as the total of traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools.


 

We do have some outstanding public schools nationally, but very few. The result is that 84% of our children who graduate with a diploma in Tennessee from our public high schools are not prepared to learn any job beyond 2022. That cannot happen without the vast majority of superintendents and teachers being under-qualified in their jobs. As one of the largest spenders in the world per student, our results should be among the top three in the world, and not below 40th.

 

The knowledge that is in demand by employers and universities, minimum knowledge that is needed for children graduating from high school in 2019 to ensure a minimum income to support a family of four is an average consolidated ACT score of 26.

 

 

ACTIONS TO IMPROVE PUBLIC EDUCATION

ufodocking
Mathematics in art: Vasarely geometric design.


1. WHEN PERFORMANCE IS VERY LOW, LIKE OURS, ONLY THIS SOLUTION WORKS TO RAISE RESULTS. WE SUGGEST NOT EXPERIMENTING WITH "IDEAS" AFTER TWO DECADES OF THE DISASTROUS A.C.T. RESULTS FROM INEXPERIENCED "IDEAS."

THE FIRST IMPORTANT STEP IS THE SELECTION OF THE RIGHT OBJECTIVE.


There will not be improvement unless a school district does what we are describing here. If anyone in politics or education objects, just look at what was achieved during the last two decades. An organization cannot produce better results unless they do very specific things differently than in the past. It must also be recognized that employees who are to be measured for education achievement cannot have the authority to elect not to be measured. There cannot be improvement without measurement of individual achievement. With the poor results for decades to date without measuring achievement, we cannot have any improvement.

 

Management By Objectives (MBO) is not just a business tool. It applies to any group of people if they want to move from poor results upward in any activity. That's education in our schools. People rise to expectations when the objective is high but possible to achieve. Those who produced bad results for 10-15 years believe that they know how to do everything as well as possible, and they are wrong. They know little if anything organizationally, and they will fail. People who have no or wrong or low objectives, can not improve. In education districts, the objectives set are not useful objectives because they use objectives that are not the key measurement of education achievement such as an ACT score, or they are not measurable. People respond to such objectives as if they had no objectives at all, and revert to doing the job the same way as they did for a long time. The results can not improve that way. So the right objective, like an ACT score that is 10% higher than the last one actually achieved, could produce very good results, if an operating plan with monthly objectives (e.g., GPA based) also exists for all supervisory employees and teachers to achieve it in every single school, to see monthly progress, in order to achieve an annual ACT objective in high schools. We already know from past history, that low or inappropriate objectives, like the ones that elected boards of education set in the past, do nothing for us but result in the same, age old poor school performance. WE MUST CHANGE THAT. Because they never had it, those with monthly objectives will be nervous at first, but this method will turn into monthly or weekly FOCUS to achieve specific things that lead to school results. Today there is nothing, and the poor results reflect exactly that.

 

The following are the current objectives for the Knox County, Tennessee school district per their policy. Did not get response from the board when trying to reconfirm. Finally got an answer to an Open Record request that identified as the valid objective the one in the previous superintendents' Five Year Strategic Plan. One wonders why we have two sets of objectives and why the elected Board did not respond to our request. The reader is welcome to look at both.

 

An objective or objectives are used to FOCUS THE ENTIRE ORGANIZATION ON ACHIEVING THE HIGHEST LEVEL OBJECTIVE. THERE ARE SUBORDINATE OBJECTIVES LOWER IN THE ORGANIZATION, BUT THEY ALL ARE TO SUPPORT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OBJECTIVE. Therefore objectives have to be very few for people IN THE SAME WORKING GROUP to remember them. One is a performance measure like an ACT score that is 10% higher than the last average ACT score achieved. This is a measure of what children have learned in the school district from grade one to twelve. There is no better measure of what the school district accomplished, and a 10% growth is minimal considering poor past performance that is making 75-85% of past and current graduates unemployable beyond minimum wage. Such graduates will be replaced by robots by 2025 the latest. Objectives must relate to the main activity of the organization, such as education achievement and what it cost for a school district. An objective MUST BE:

      • Measurable so that its outcome is not ambiguous,


      • It must be brief and easy to remember for everyone,


      • There must be very few of them, otherwise objectives dilute each other and become ineffective, because one loses focus on the most important things in every job to achieve a group objective.


      • It must be a key indicator of success or lack thereof -- in performance or spending (a second objective) -- and


      • It must be about educational performance when it is about a school district or state education results that has never been dumbed down, such as an ACT score achieved. State tests have been dumbed down, e.g., for showing better results to qualify for federal funds (No Child Left Behind) AND to look better to the public.

 

The second objective is about spending not exceeding the approved budget that was set at the start of the year. When an objective does not meet any of these qualifications, it is like not having any and that is like people doing things aimlessly as in the past with unacceptable results.


For objectives to work, there must be a plan, The Operating Plan that covers all actions by each management, supervisory individuals and teachers in the entire organization to deliver excellent quality work to help reach monthly objectives (GPA) in the operating units that produce the results (schools in education), so that one notices problems as they happen. That way one can correct problems in order to meet the annual objective for the total organization or school district.


It would be similar when managing an entire state organization in that the school districts would have to deliver monthly results (GPA) to spot problems and recover to deliver the state's ANNUAL result (ACT) as planned at year end.



VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT MANAGEMENT BY OBJECTIVES IS ACTUALLY LESS WORK, BUT IT IS WELL PLANNED SMARTER WORK, WITH FAR BETTER RESULTS, AND PEOPLE BECOME BETTER WITH IT EACH YEAR.


Unfortunately the objectives set by the boards and the state are not suitable for managing for good results. In a case like this, they are the same as having no objectives at all, and therefore nothing is focused on getting better results. To make it worse, an organization without the right objectives becomes very political internally. Why? Because performance evaluation will still exist but based on personal relationships, and not on actual results. That is the main reason why our results are very poor.

 



Unfortunately the management styles above, force people to write opinions or policy documents that are enormous and easily confusing. It is possible to write also very complete documents, well researched with a long bibliography of references, but they will be very long like 50-70 pages. Supporting documents from the state education departments to school districts however, need to be brief, easy to read, and still cover the important points. They are not like that. Simplicity is extremely important in communications to field organizations, perhaps more important at this level than the research document that can turn out to be very complex.



THE EXAMPLE OF OBJECTIVES SET IN THE KNOX COUNTY, TENNESSEE EDUCATION POLICIES ARE:

  1. Read a variety of complex text, both literary and informational, to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities and broaden their perspective;


  2. Communicate complex information in a clear and articulate manner using effective oral, written and media skills;


  3. Develop conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application skills in mathematics and science to solve complex real world issues and problems;


  4. Participate effectively in civic life with a solid understanding of world geography, economics, history and finance;


  5. Develop positive habits that support good physical, mental, social and emotional well-being;


  6. Appreciate and participate in the arts;


  7. Pursue the acquisition of world languages;


  8. Effectively use current and emerging technologies to access, manage and create information;


  9. Think creatively and work collaboratively with others;


  10. Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability, initiative and self-direction;


  11. Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and personal excellence; and


  12. Develop the 21st century skills necessary for a successful transition to college and/or career.


NOW ASK YOURSELF: HOW ON EARTH CAN ANYONE KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH IMPROVEMENT HAS TAKEN PLACE EACH YEAR IN EACH OBJECTIVE? EXACTLY IS THE KEY WORD TO AVOID ANY ARGUMENTS. THE ANSWER IS: THESE ARE NOT OBJECTIVES. THEY MEAN NOTHING IN TERMS OF ACHIEVEMENT AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

 

COMMENT: THE PURPOSE OF ANY OBJECTIVE IS TO FOCUS EVERY EMPLOYEE TO CONTRIBUTE TO ACHIEVE IT DURING ONE FISCAL YEAR. OTHERWISE, IT IS A GOAL AND NOT AN OBJECTIVE IF IT COVERS SEVERAL YEARS. THE ABOVE OBJECTIVES DESCRIBE THE OUTSTANDING QUALITIES OF ANY PERSON, BUT TO GAUGE HOW MUCH OF THE STATED QUALITIES ARE ACHIEVED IS NOT POSSIBLE. EACH OBJECTIVE HAS TO BE MEASURABLE, AND SOME ABOVE TAKE MANY YEARS. THESE ARE NOT OBJECTIVES AND NOT EVEN GOALS BECAUSE THEY CANNOT BE MEASURED. OBJECTIVES ALSO HAVE TO BE RELATED TO THE BUSINESS OF THE SCHOOL WHICH IS DEFINED BY THE CURRICULUM, WITH ACCEPTABLE GRADE ACHIEVEMENT. ANYTHING ELSE, LIKE THE ABOVE OBJECTIVES THAT THE ELECTED BOARD OF EDUCATION CREATED, IS NOT RELEVANT FOR A SCHOOL OBJECTIVE.

 

 

Objective(s) apply to the current fiscal year along with the budget. How does any of these points specify how you measure satisfactory performance in each one against a measurable objective in the current fiscal year? The above board of education objectives are not relevant to student achievement. They are unmeasurable opinions that can easily be subject to argument.

 

 

Look at your existing and past objectives. Can you actually measure where children are in achieving a measurable target in the above objectives? How do you know if a score is good or bad if there is some measurement that is subject to argument? Was there a plan that addressed how to increase the ACT scores? The answer is "NO". When one does not have THE RIGHT measurable objective, you cannot have a plan of action. WITHOUT A PLAN THAT IDENTIFIES THE MONTHLY OBJECTIVES OF ALL SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES IN EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL, you are without direction, and you flounder and fail as we are doing in Knox County, Tennessee. Was this arranged purposefully? Why was there no action to correct it? There can be no improvement without the right objectives on the school district, supervisory employees in every school and in central management, and an operating plan that specifies said objectives and dates when they must be achieved.



IT IS THE SCHOOLS THAT PRODUCE THE RESULTS, YET WE DO NOT HAVE OBJECTIVES AND A PLAN WITHIN EACH OF OUR SCHOOLS TO ACHIEVE BETTER THAN POOR PERFORMANCE! WE ARE SORRY BUT THAT IS VERY IRRESPONSIBLE.

WHEN YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU ARE ACTUALLY PLANNING TO FAIL.



What must be in place for a minimal plan that works? When the individual schools do not have a measurable academic objective, AND THEY ARE PRODUCING POOR RESULTS, you cannot improve what you did before without a plan. NO CHANCE! WE NEVER PLANNED TO ACHIEVE ACADEMIC INCREASE FOR OUR SCHOOLS IN KNOX COUNTY, TENNESSEE, therefore there was no accountability, with everyone just doing the same thing again and again, year after year. NOTHING IMPROVES UNLESS YOU MAKE CHANGES IN THE WAY YOU DO THINGS. The operating plan is a must if we are to improve our unacceptable results. With no help from the Department of Education in Tennessee, we did not improve. This is a serious management shortfall, and expecting elected boards to know what to do may be unreasonable. HOWEVER, THAT IS NOT A GOOD EXCUSE FOR ELECTED BOARDS NOT TO DO CORRECTLY WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.



For schools, the operating plan must have a monthly, year-to-date objective per school (e.g., at the end of May, you measure September-May averages and compare that result to the operating plan of each school that you planned, using for example average GPA per school). We assume that GPA averages have been and can be maintained per student, per school and perhaps per subject and per class, and that a plus or minus 10% mathematical relationship has been established between average high school GPA and average ACT scores in high school for the same time period.

 


Based on GPA averages, establish a GPA objective for each month, for each school that is five percent higher than the previous year's GPA average achieved, that upon conversion equals or exceeds the planned ACT objective for the school district.

 


Appoint a team of principals to identify materials, excellent teaching practices, ideas from any academic source worldwide that has demonstrated very high primary and secondary school performance far above ours, who are to recommend a prioritized list of them for implementation (Finland, Singapore, Canada, France, Germany, Australia).

 


Teachers must be better educated in both teaching methodologies and the subject they teach. The high performing internationals changed years ago to selecting teachers from the top ten-thirty percent of Master's programs in the subject they will teach above fourth grade. Establish a continuing education program, 50% teacher paid, for teachers obtaining a master's degree in the subject that they are teaching.

 


Establish a zero tolerance policy relating to behavior on school property. Pursue this through legislative channels if needed. Teachers must have total authority in the classroom in the mind of the student and the student's parent.

 


Teachers have much less preparation time in the U.S. than the teachers in the high performing countries. Eliminate as much as possible teacher loads that limit teaching and preparation time, e.g., paperwork, too many tests (preparation, evaluation included).

 


Student progress needs to be measured as accurately as possible monthly. Can a testing service provide testing per month for curriculum subjects, for each and every grade?

 


It is also very important that every person in a supervisory position have an objective monthly that supports increased GPA achievement in the organization to which he/she belongs (a specific school), or in Central Management. Supervisory position means all management positions not just those whose title includes the word "manager".

 

 

"Objectives" did and do exist. The state of Tennessee required for the elected school boards to set them. I looked but did not find any guidance by the state Education Department explaining how to set objectives and create operating plans. They were actually not objectives, because they were not measurable based on the most important indicator of what students learned every single year. But the elected boards not only set them but gave themselves a positive performance review. One could not tell with such objectives if anything was accomplished, and we very consistently delivered poor education, that makes 75-85% of a graduating class not prepared well enough for job training that results in long term-employment. Robotics are replacing the low-end compensated jobs, because the workforce has been degraded so far since 1970 and robotics can do a better quality job today at less cost.


  • Why is this practice SO COMMON WITH SETTING INVALID OBJECTIVES AND WITHOUT AN OPERATING PLAN STILL IN PLACE that is full of conflict of interest, if not one that defrauds the public, instead of setting proper objectives to focus at minimum all people in a school district daily, on their jobs, and working toward the same objective with every single supervisory and management person in the school district about what they will accomplish? Is it because with objectives set every person has to work harder to avoid poor performance reviews?


  • Schools produce the results, not Central Management in a school district. Why is it then that THE SCHOOLS THEMSELVES NEVER HAD AND HAVE ANY ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OBJECTIVES TO MEET TO THIS DAY, LIKE A GPA OBJECTIVE? Maybe because:


    • STATE OR SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVEL DECISION MAKERS IN EDUCATION do not appear to care about what happens to our children. They say they do, but their actions do not support their claim.


    • It is absolutely unforgivable that we TOLERATE high schools where 90% or more of a graduating class is unprepared year-after-year for anything other than short-lived employment, and we did nothing about it for more than a dozen years now. Just look at the chart showing ACT Readiness per high school above. In such schools we spent double per student and 20 years' results show that the additional spending made no difference. If it makes no difference in 2-3 years, THE MONEY IS NOT GOING FOR THE RIGHT THINGS OR TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE. STOP WASTING IT.


    • Bloated Central Management in every school district does not favor measurable academic objectives like an ACT score plus 10% for growth.



That leaves the ACT for 11th-grade testing, and for GPA-based testing monthly reporting to actually see, how each class is progressing in each school as the year progresses. Anyone who ever managed an organization with more than 100 people knows that you cannot improve poor performance, unless you have the right objectives in every management position and a monthly plan detailing what each of them will accomplish each month to make sure that the right job is done for our children. Why is it that we do not hold anyone accountable in a school district and within the state department of education for a job that is most important for our own economic future? Instead, we are building a powder keg. We would like an explanation from state leadership about why nothing has been done about this huge problem for more than four decades.


What we know so far is that ten years of ACT scores show in Knox County, Tennessee, that close to 80% of our high school graduates PLUS dropouts are NOT ACT READY. That means that they are prepared only for close to minimum wage jobs. However, all such jobs could be replaced by robots within five years at most. The ACT test shows what children have learned from grade one to twelve. It also shows that close to 80% of them plus dropouts, are far from knowing as much as what the curriculum calls for. It shows that they did not learn enough to survive, but our public schools gave them a high school diploma anyway



One must ask: what do governors, state departments of education, elected school boards and bloated school district central management groups know and care about? Personal income. One finds too many promoted there who never demonstrated good academic results, but had good personal friendships above them.

Look at the chart with two decades of ACT scores. That will tell you exactly what they know about what to do to raise poor ACT scores. And that will tell you exactly how much they care about our children's future.

Never judge based on what anyone says about an important subject. Look at evidence about what they did and do. Evidence, like two decades of ACT scores in the chart. That will tell you exactly what those who managed then knew and know about what to do and/or how much they cared.

Or...were they afraid of something if they improve education so that the ACT scores and Readiness INCREASE or NOT?

A combination of all is likely.



"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything."
Albert Einstein


Unfortunately, we are doing nothing of significance to improve our children's education in our public schools.

 

 

If we want children who will be successful in their life, all the points raised below must be implemented in our opinion as soon as possible. All children want to be loved and want to be helped, we must treat them lovingly.

 

The presence of personal problems and an environment without love drives children to drugs. But they are not adults yet. And they must pay for any bad behavior such that they or their friends will not dare to repeat it. Most of us think of those kind of teachers in our past with great appreciation.

 

In today's world the teacher has to be a good friend to help you, or punish you if you do something bad. The children have to learn a lot more from now on. New technology always eliminates some low level jobs, but they also create new jobs. The new jobs require more knowledge.

 

Our current public high school graduates are not prepared well. We must change that urgently. The children would need to work harder than before. To that end our school districts must assist teachers financially to upgrade their subject knowledge, and give them enough preparation time like all high performing nations have done. Teachers must become better. They have to be great motivators to all children.

 

In our opinion, if we don't do this and correct the points raised below, our children will not have a chance. Should we stop wasting money on so many students, more than 80%, who graduate without being prepared sufficiently? Should we invest in a baby sitting service? It will cost a lot less. Some parents use our schools as a baby sitting service. Some children hit teachers and go to the bathroom and throw what they produced at the teacher. The next day they bring little Johnny back to school as if nothing happened, and little Johnny becomes a hero to ten more boys. IN CASE IF OUR STATE LEADERSHIP BELIEVES THAT THIS IS THE "EXCELENCE FOR ALL CHILDREN", THE SLOGAN OF OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT IN KNOX COUNTY, TENNESSEE, USES AND SIMILAR ONES ELSEWHERE, THEN WHAT IS THE POINT IN SPENDING EVEN A SINGLE RED CENT ON SUCH A SCHOOL DISTRICT TO CREATE AND MAINTAIN A FAILURE FACTORY WHOSE MANAGEMENT DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DO A GOOD JOB. THE PUBLIC WHO PAY DEARLY FOR IT ALL, NEEDS SOME LEGAL PROTECTION WITH RECOURSE UPON THOSE WHO ARE CREATING THE PROBLEMS, AND THOSE WHO ARE IN CHARGE ON THE STATE LEVEL. In an organization that is not doing well enough, you do not just keep spending more and more without changing people like teachers and principals, superintendents, board members and hope for the best. You have to change people and the way you do the job in the class room. You have to know a lot more about the subject than what you have to teach. You have to be able to explain how what you are teaching is going to be used. And you have to know how to get children excited about the subject you are teaching. You have to know how to make the public schools excellent schools, without any slogans like "Excellence for all children". Only losers use such slogans. LET THE SCHOOLS' A.C.T. RECORD SHOW HOW EXCELLENT THEY ARE. Not the state test, because the state dumbed them down to show better grades with less knowledge. It would be wonderful if our conclusions were wrong, but we did our homework and believe that they are correct, unfortunately.

 


 

kcstnresults

 


AN IMPORTANT QUESTION

 

"Why do my children and grandchildren need to take the hard math and science courses? They will never use things like Algebra!" We heard such public comments from citizens even at school board meetings. Not one person could answer the question.

 

 

THE ANSWER IS: ***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: If we talk to a neurologist (doctor specialized in how the brain and nerves function) and ask that question, the answer will be the following. It is this answer that identifies why the harder subjects are necessary. We are born as a healthy baby with about 100 Billion brain cells called neurons. These neurons will start interconnecting AND COMMUNICATING immediately with other neurons that are specific to the brain function triggered by a stimulation, like in response to what the baby hears, sees and feels, and later what the baby reads and experiences about anything. This is how learning begins. The more the child learns, even if the child does not use what was learned, the more brain cells get interconnected. The fastest rate of interconnections happens before age 6, but will continue as you get older at a declining rate, for example even after 20 years of age. Drugs can SLOW AND EVEN STOP THESE INTERCONNECTIONS. BUT, IF ONE IS EXPERIENCING DIFFICULTIES AND DOES NOT GO TO DRUGS TO FEEL GOOD, THE INTERCONNECTIONS STRENGTHEN. Some brain functions do not complete their interconnections until 17-20 years of age, for example functions that have to do with determining vocational suitability and direction. For this reason it is a big mistake by schools to push students to decide about a vocation they want to pursue before 17 years of age. Instead the K-12 schooling should focus on a very strong foundation, with honors courses in every mathematics and science class to the highest level that the school offers. You cannot skip prerequisites and do a higher level course. Prerequisite courses must be completed first. You build your knowledge just like you build a brick house, laying bricks one layer at a time. You use all the "bricks" or interconnections for making good decisions. One actually needs all courses, especially the hardest ones, with excellent scores, in order to have the ability to make good decisions, which will be very important for all jobs. If the "house of knowledge" is not complete with all the "bricks in place", your decisions will not be good. The more difficult math and science courses create more "bricks" of knowledge, than the easier courses. Using them fully in a job OR NOT, you need them for good decision making. That is why the more difficult courses are needed. If you build a one level house "of knowledge" you will be able to make only a limited level of good decisions. But you can also build a hundred story skyscraper of knowledge, and you will be able to make good decisions at the speed of light.

 

 

That is why it is very important to learn the difficult courses. Without them you could end up homeless, because you will make bad decisions in life and your jobs will go to robotics. The second good reason for taking Algebra and the more difficult courses, is because if you build a big enough "house of knowledge" with high grades, then you can end up with a fantastic job that you will love, using the math and science that you learned and make enough money for a wonderful life. Why? BECAUSE YOUR DECISION MAKING WILL BE GOOD.

 

 

WHAT DO OUR SCHOOLS HAVE TO DO TO GIVE OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN SUCH A CHANCE?
All these needed actions are listed below.

 

***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: GENERAL AND URGENT PREPARATION WITHOUT WHICH NO FURTHER IMPROVEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE WILL TAKE PLACE.
  • Strengthen each school's environment against drug sellers to limit the significant influence of drugs in the school performance of children. The relationship between students and teachers is not good enough today. Understand that many have only a single parent who is very tired and works hard to make ends meet. Such kids need a friendly place other than the druggy crowd. Druggies find good "friends" for drugs in the schools. The schools are their "supermarket" to sell drugs.


  • All children need to belong. All children need a shoulder to cry on in private. The druggies understand that, because that is where they are coming from.


  • Poverty is the great creator of such an environment. We blame the lack of studying enough on poverty. I can tell you that a major part of poverty is created by our public education system with its problems that we need to change into a friendly environment for all students, especially those who are poor.


  • Criminal law can help only a small part of the drug problem in school. It is the schools that must become for poor kids their best friend, helper and advisor.


  • Read about the education system in Finland. The children have no better friend than the teachers there. Look at the Success Academy Schools in New York City who are delivering fabulous results from poor inner city African American kids. You have to be nice but firm. We are not so nice and wishy-washy.


  • For example some parents, a minority use the public school as a baby sitting service. We do not have zero tolerance for discipline problems. But we have kids who can, as an example throw feces at a teacher. Fresh feces. The offender in such a case could return to school the next day. If I may humbly suggest, such a deed or doing anything to a teacher should be good enough for a year's "vacation" from school. The parents will object for a few days, but perhaps in a few weeks or month, their little Johnny will become an angel and a good student. This side of drug defense is not being handled well, and drugs are interfering with our children's education.


  • Today's average teacher comes from the bottom 30% of university classes. The nations with higher performing students get their teachers from the top 30%, some from the top 10% of the Masters program in the subject that they would be teaching. We need to structure teachers jobs such that we eliminate all the time that is required for non-teaching functions, and reward those who deliver excellent grades from each and every class that they teach. It is the good results that need to be appreciated, and not the baby sitting service that some provide.


  • Eliminate grossly overstaffed central management in school districts, down to 2% maximum of the school district's total full time employees; delegate more decisions to high school principals, have feeder schools report to them, increase teacher education in the subject they teach and in teaching methodology, have them attend high level management training programs. They are to meet an ACT objective that is 10% higher than the last average consolidated ACT score achieved by the high school, and budget objectives, as well as monthly academic objectives for the high school. All this to have a better superintendent development program, with a similar feeder school principal training program, to ensure that we develop excellent talent for the next superintendent.


  • Eliminate "cut Scores" (they dumb down the state test and with it our children),


  • Establish zero tolerance of discipline problems,


  • Make use of appropriate best lectures and tutorials from the Internet to reduce teacher load,


  • TEACHING CRITICAL THINKING, THE BUZZWORD OF THE DECADE. Every ten years or so the education districts attempt to "solve" the problem of bad education with a "new" idea to save the children that they did not educate well enough. They push "new" ideas often about what we need to teach, without understanding the subject criticalthinking and its ramifications. For example, vocational education was promoted as a solution to the poor academic results "as backup" fifteen years ago, instead of solving the teaching problem and insufficient control of bad behavior in schools to get better results. They also forget the new impact of robotics with artificial intelligence that passed average human intelligence in 2015 and it is growing faster. The jobs that require less knowledge will be taken over by robots rapidly, and vocational education may have a life, but it will be a short life. To be robot-resistant for as long as possible, multi-disciplinary knowledge on a high level in mathematics, in the various sciences and in economics will be the ones along with continuing education for life. Or without considering how robotics will change the various vocations. Since 2010 many people in education started emphasizing the teaching of CRITICAL THINKING to students, without the most important prerequisite for it: the necessity to know and understand the subjects themselves that are related to the problem to be solved on as high a level as possible, without the process of CRITICAL THINKING. CRITICAL THINKING is so easy and fundamental that most people consider it only before one makes an important decision. That means that children can be good decision makers only if they have a high enough level of understanding of all subjects and competitive situations that make up what is to be decided upon.


  • THE BIGGEST MISTAKE WE SEE TODAY IS PEOPLE BELIEVING OTHER PEOPLE'S OPINIONS TO BE A FACT, BECAUSE THEY HAVE AN IMPORTANT SOUNDING TITLE. Unfortunately, this is very common in education. Most elected school board members assume for example, that their opinion is the golden truth, when they know nothing about the subject or the management problems involved. The process of very basic CRITICAL THINKING is easy, as the chart shows. We would suggest that critical thinking is not the problem with our high school graduates. The big problem is the poor results in reading, basic math, sciences and so on, that the state education departments and school districts are hiding from the public, INSTEAD OF SOLVING THEM BY RAISING THE RIGOR OF TEACHER EDUCATION LIKE THE HIGH PERFORMING COUNTRIES HAVE DONE FOR TWO DECADES NOW. These new ideas such as critical thinking seem to be an effort to mask the real important problem, the poor results of our schools. What we need is more rigorous math with up to a year of Calculus, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Materials Science, English Communications with the reading problem solved before grade 3, Art and Music appreciation one year each, since that is the thing that helps interconnection of brain hemispheres that is essential to decision making. There is enough work for high schools to be managed more professionally that in the past. We will not survive without it.


  • Use ACT's recommendation to ensure that everyone takes "base plus 2" courses (two more courses in addition to what the curriculum requires), and


  • Please get rid of the stupid (no better adjective for it) idea of pushing a 90% graduation rate mandate and instead focus on an ACT objective that is 10% higher than the ACT score last achieved, for each high school and the school district. Do not accept verbal suggestions, unless they submit them in writing. IT IS THE SCHOOLS THAT PRODUCE THE RESULTS. Yet no high school principal worked under an ACT or SAT objective and an operating plan as described in this document.


  • Eliminate Cut Scores that appear to be dumbing down the state test, when the company provided the test matching the curriculum. It is the test as provided, that shows the true results about what the schools produced, without the state education department's modifications to show better grades. Why hide the truth?


  • About 25 years ago most of our children graduated from high school as very poor readers, carrying that "skill" to college unresolved in Knox County, Tennessee, one of the better school districts in the state. THIS IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. So, we spent millions of dollars on consultants to solve the problems. In 2018, we still have the same reading problems that we had more than 20 years ago. You don't need expensive consultants. You need to visit a few outstanding schools. We do have them in the US, but not in Tennessee.


  • When we have an elected board, such people are untrained in how to interview and hire a properly qualified superintendent. Interviewing such a person requires advanced management training. It is not the same as interviewing a teacher or a principal. The board members tend to believe that the superintendent they hired knows how to get good results. They keep hiring those who cannot do the job. Look at the record of any school district in your state. Most superintendent and consultant candidates will cost an enormous amount. The state education department could help the boards with guide lines, but such guidelines must come from people who are highly and successfully experienced in the management task ahead.
  •  

 

IS THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DOING SOME THINGS THAT DEGRADES THE STUDENTS' FUTURE MORE?
FIND THEM AND ELIMINATE THEM.


 

 

***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: IT APPEARS THAT "CUT SCORES" CREATED BY THE STATE EDUCATION DEPT., ARE ACTUALLY REDUCING OUR CHILDREN'S KNOWLEDGE. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF THIS IS INCORRECT. The state's objective is to graduate 90% of the graduating classes with a diploma. There is pressure to get teachers to pass borderline students and to allow them to pass from one grade to the next in order to graduate them as fast as possible; even if they do not qualify with their scores. The objective is not the level of knowledge gained as shown by an ACT or SAT score. There is a very low 21 ACT score that was identified as the academic goal more than 5 years ago for 2020. If a class has an average ACT score of 21, then 75% of that class graduated unprepared. There is no pressure to achieve better grades, other than those who would squeak by to graduate from high school. Is the knowledge level of students not the most important? Isn't it silly and self defeating to focus on graduating 90% of students and not a specific ACT score that represents what they learnt from grade one to twelve? Such direction is wrong and has produced the poor results for decades. It shows the destructive actions of state leadership. My apologies, but given the two choices: 1. 90% graduation rate, and 2. An ACT score objective that is 10% higher than the previous one, which was refused with any percentage growth, clearly indicates that the state and the teachers' majority is interested in the 90% graduation objective, BUT DOES NOT WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KNOWLEDGE THAT OUR CHILDREN HAVE WHEN THEY GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL. What is also clear is that with an ACT score objective as described, both the academic side, the ACT score itself would rise, and so would the graduation rate. THE CUT SCORES, ON THE OTHER HAND WORK AGAINST THAT. THEY ENSURE THAT THE STUDENTS DO NOT WORK HARD IN ORDER TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL WITH THE NECESSARY LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE TO BE EMPLOYABLE OR TRAINABLE TO BE SELF SUPPORTING FOR LIFE. THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (TDE) orders a new state test from one of four large companies that are obligated under the law to meet the requirements of the Tennessee curriculum, all grades. It costs only $150,000,000. First they pass it to all schools and students to take it but the results are seen only by the TDE. If the results are bad, they just cut the the failure point which is normally 60% correct answers down to as much as 25-30% in one or more subjects, to create more children who will receive a "PASSING GRADE" including those who would be normally failures. For example for Algebra 1, the "Proficient raw score" is 28% correct answers only. They are translating such poor performance to a "Proficient quick score" of 82%, which would indicate a nice B GRADE, for an incredible FAILURE of only 28% correct answers. But the test was prepared by a test-creating company covering all grades and all subjects strictly in accordance with the state curriculum. Therefore the test creating company is correct. When they give the test to the state, the state has every school trying it to see how good or bad the average scores are. If the results look bad, they use cut scores to make the test easier to provide higher test results. And our children get dumbed down, and will not be able to pass an interview to get even the lowest job. The school looks good this way. The state Department of Education looks brilliant. The governor is so happy. The parents are elated because little Johnny got a B average. And in a few years little Johnny will be jobless, but the school is smart, they will come up with a few excuses that may work for a few years. Given a few years everyone finds out what the game is, and the pitchforks come out. There are some suggestions that we must reduce the size of the population. Our school systems and their management seem to be doing an excellent job for them.
If this is true, how can the Tennessee Education Department and the governor think that graduating children as an objective, while short-cutting their knowledge, is more important than an ACT score achieved (their knowledge), which as an objective that would be 10% higher than the preceding actual ACT score to ensure growth?


cutscorechart

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Unfortunately, we do not teach children in the public schools as well as we did 100 years ago, but we teach less in math and the sciences, then we taught 50 years ago. We teach less when our children need more to survive. And we the public are paying for it a very high price, one of the highest in the world. I CAN TELL YOU THAT THIS IS NOT A STRATEGY TO WIN. IT IS A STRATEGY TO LOSE. The school districts and the state education departments are to prepare a 3-5 year "strategic" plan. BUT NO ONE TRAINED THEM CORRECTLY ABOUT WHAT MAKES A PLAN STRATEGIC, OR WHAT A PLAN REALLY IS TO ENSURE THAT YOUR OBJECTIVE IS MET. They have no analysis of competitors internationally, a very important thing because we were on top around 1970, but were passed by 39 countries as of 2016 (OECD PISA tests). There are no objectives in the "Strategic" Plan for supervisory/management people to achieve on a monthly basis and that is the most important part of any operating plan. Because the competitiveness of our products has to be high internationally in order to produce enough tax income for the nation. The education decision makers do not consider the future impact of new technologies, and our school systems' impact on their most important "customer", the employers. The employers have been complaining about the poor education of high school graduates for more than ten years. We never addressed the insufficient education that teachers received, which makes the classes very dull and demotivating, and makes the teachers' life on the job awful. We attended many classes. Management training does not exist, and as a result they have too many people problems. They do employee satisfaction surveys, but they are structured surveys. No one is going to provide feedback on management problems. Structured surveys are insufficient because they can steer conclusions to salary dissatisfaction, that is generally not among the top three complaints in satisfaction surveys. And they do not understand and consider the huge robotic impact on our children's future, as a result of automation/robotics that already started in 2017. An elected board cannot do this. The state education department needs to provide it to the school districts with a decision to set an ACT or SAT objective that is higher than the prior year's average consolidated ACT score or a corresponding SAT target if the state uses the SAT. More details below about how this must be done to be effective.

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Having looked at how elected school boards operate, and how poorly their schools are performing, we never came across a school board meeting where the board members discuss the most important thing: how poorly their schools have been doing for many decades, investigate why, find out what international high performers are doing differently to achieve far better results and implement ways to improve the poor results AS THEIR HIGHEST PRIORITY TASK. Not even school board members who are former teachers can think of doing these steps.
To make things worse, the state education departments seem to do nothing to ensure better quality performance by the elected school district boards, e.g., how to create the right objectives and annual operating plans that would improve our results. BY NOT DOING SO, THE STATE DEPT. OF EDUCATION IS PURPOSEFULLY NOT DOING SOME THINGS WHERE ONLY SUCH SOUND MANAGEMENT PRACTICE COULD BRING BETTER RESULTS.

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Example of what should never happen: The ACT performance trend went down for fourteen years, although we have spent more than twice the amount per student in this high school to date than what we spent per student in the other high schools. Every year 94-96% of the children graduating from this high school were not ACT Ready but close to 90% received a diploma anyway. WHAT WILL THAT ACCOMPLISH?! Did the principal of this high school do a good job? ABSOLUTELY NOT. So, what did the superintendent do? He appointed this principal to be responsible for education over ALL 90 SCHOOLS in the school district. And the elected board of education approved it. Evidently, school boards do not care or don't even bother to check the facts about an important candidate's past performance, like the ACT score accomplishments by a candidate who was a principal, before they approve the hiring of such a person. After all, the performance of 90 schools depended on it but the principal who was just promoted with poor results to date.

 

 

It is an extremely serious mismanagement sin by a superintendent to promote a principal who did not improve, but dropped the poor A.C.T. results significantly in his own high school year after year. In fact the principal was the second from the bottom, and for six years he kept going down. He has a great talent. He could sell anything. If he was selling cars, he could make a lot of money. The excuse given for his promotion was that the principal is trying. He is restructuring the school's organization that "will produce fantastic results in the future". But the principal in question did nothing to study high performing schools and did nothing to improve his own school's A.C.T. results. The superintendent (JM) promoted such a poor performer to head all 90 schools to improve the low performance of all 90 schools!!! Such wasting of the people's money deserves removal of both people who so demonstrated their lack of good judgement. The superintendent left. The new superintendent did nothing about this promoted individual who did not improve the school results now for three additional years. This "experiment" after 6 years resulted in billions of dollars of the people's money being wasted because of two people's poor judgement. Not only billions of our hard-earned tax dollars are wasted, but with the results of this school district, over the years thousands of children will end up on the street as a costly social problem. That will cost us, an even larger additional amount of money. How can it happen that poor performance does not result in removal of the persons who cannot do the job right? When you hire someone for a management job based on whom thousands of students' future will depend, but he produced bad results, and you do nothing about it, you deserve to be removed. The problem is that it is a bad attitude under political management without real objectives that allows such poor management decisions. We end up paying twice. First, we pay one of the highest prices in the world for the children's education. But the schools did not teach them enough in 12 years, so that robotics will replace them. Those poor jobless children will cost society more, doubling the education expense. The culture that has been allowed to tolerate such poor management practices must end. Poor management behavior like this needs to be eliminated urgently, and A.C.T. objectives, along with an operating plan must be implemented as described herein to eliminate such a problem. A workable objective for a low performing school district would be a 10-15% higher A.C.T. score than what the school district actually achieved last.

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: How can anyone assume that the voting majority of elected school board members, who represent the local public, have the knowledge to guide a school district to improve our children's education? The truth is that we did not improve for five decades with this arrangement anywhere. As a nation we dropped from the top to 40th place in the world in mathematics of 15-year-olds in 2016. That is the bottom of the industrialized countries. Tennessee is worse. And we depend ON THE ELECTED BOARD OF 13,500 independent school districts in the nation to improve, when they have never been able to improve public school performance before, for at least 50 years? Why? Because the voting majority of 13,500 elected school boards will not have the management skills and knowledge to make the right decisions, when the declining USA K-12 performance dumbed down the population. Why doesn't any state start by centralizing functions that require duplication of staffing in each school district today? Representation of a segment of the population in a school district does not add anything to improve the school results. the number of people on a school board is not as important as it was originally imagined. Having an odd number of them is important. Having management experience in large organizations is the most important experience school board members need. Why doesn't each school district appoint highly educated and experienced business leaders for the school board who would be future employers of the children we teach? Why have we insisted on this unproductive education system instead of studying the best and changing it? Are we lazy or just plain do not care about taking serious actions on the governors' level that raise the act scores? ...Mark my words: the current system WAS NOT designed to create winners. it was designed to dumb down the American population. I would be happy to show the proof that it is so. THE BIG QUESTION IS WHY?

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: In future years there will be more increases in new technology-created jobs. The next big one is nanotechnology, only five years away. Many old jobs will disappear, just like decades ago when manufacturing industries changed to robotics. The new jobs will require significant increase in knowledge to upgrade existing workforce members well beyond what our high schools taught them. AND SUCH UPGRADE CANNOT TAKE FOREVER. SIX MONTHS MAXIMUM, AND THAT MEANS THAT CONTINUING EDUCATION, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE HAVE FALLEN BEHIND, IS A NECESSITY. If the high school-created education was more advanced like in some other countries (e.g., in Finland, Canada, France, Germany or Singapore in mathematics and the sciences on the advanced level), then worker-retraining could be achieved within a reasonable time.>

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Unfortunately, we teach in the public schools as well as we did 50-100 years ago, the subjects we did not change as they were 50-100 years ago, but we teach less in math and the sciences, than what we taught 50 years ago. If one looks at 1850-1920 vintage 8th grade tests and school books for English and mathematics, the great majority of today's high schools could not pass them. This is the result, of dumbing down the students and by not providing training material or procedures to elected school district board members, as well as principals and superintendents. We teach less when our children need more to survive. We create very weak high school graduates for the toughest times that they will have to face. And we the public are paying for it a very high price, the highest in the world. Why? Where is the wisdom of such results from our public schools?! Is there something we the public should know, since we are paying the highest price in the world for education but deliver the poorest knowledge at high school graduation by our education districts that makes our graduates the worst educated among industrialized countries in the world. The school districts and the state education departments are to prepare a 3-5 year "strategic" plan. They have no analysis of competitors internationally, a very important thing because we were on top around were passed by 39 countries as of 2016 (OECD PISA tests). Also because the competitiveness of our products have to be high internationally in order to produce enough tax income for the nation. The education decision makers do not consider the future impact of new technologies, and our school systems' impact on their most important "customer", the employers. The employers have been complaining about the poor education of high school graduates for more than ten years. We never addressed the insufficient education that teachers received, which makes the classes very dull and demotivating, and makes the teachers' life on the job awful. We attended many classes. Management training does not exist, and as a result they have too many people problems. They do employee satisfaction surveys, but they are structured surveys. No one is going to provide feedback on management problems. Structured surveys are insufficient because they can steer conclusions to salary dissatisfaction, that is generally not among the top three complaints in satisfaction surveys. And they do not understand and consider the huge robotic impact on our children's future, as a result of automation/robotics that already started in 2017. An elected board cannot do this. The state education department needs to provide it to the school districts with a decision to set an ACT or SAT objective that is higher than the prior year's average consolidated ACT score or a corresponding SAT target if the state uses the SAT. More details below about how this must be done to be effective.

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Having looked at how elected school boards operate, and how poorly their schools are performing, we never came across a school board meeting where the board members discussed the most important thing: how poorly their schools have been doing for many decades, investigate why, find out what international high performers are doing differently to achieve far better results and implement ways to improve the poor results AS THEIR HIGHEST PRIORITY TASK. Not even school board members who are former teachers can think of doing these steps.
To make things worse, the state education departments seem to do nothing to ensure better quality performance by the elected school district boards, e.g., how to create the right objectives and annual operating plans that would improve our results. BY NOT DOING SO, THE STATE DEPT. OF EDUCATION IS PURPOSEFULLY NOT DOING SOME THINGS WHERE ONLY SUCH SOUND MANAGEMENT PRACTICE COULD BRING BETTER RESULTS.

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Example of what should never happen: The ACT performance trend went down for fourteen years, although we have spent more than twice the amount per student in this high school to date than what we spent per student in the other high schools. Every year 94-96% of the children graduating from this high school were not ACT Ready but close to 90% received a diploma anyway. WHAT WILL THAT ACCOMPLISH?! Did the principal of this high school do a good job? ABSOLUTELY NOT. So what did the superintendent do? He appointed this principal to be responsible for education over ALL 90 SCHOOLS in the school district. And the elected board of education approved it. Evidently, school boards do not care or don't even bother to check the facts about an important candidate's past performance, like the ACT score accomplishments by a candidate who was a principal, before they approve the hiring of such a person. After all, the performance of 90 schools depended on it but the principal who was just promoted with poor results to date.

 

 

***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: It is an extremely serious mismanagement sin by a superintendent to hire a principal who could not improve the poor A.C.T. results in his/her high school. The excuse given was that the principal is "trying". He is restructuring the school's organization that "will produce fantastic results in the future". But the principal in question did nothing to study high performing schools, such as the Success Academy Schools in New York, who are producing excellent results with poor, inner city, African American children, beating even private schools, nor any other high performing schools in the USA. So the superintendent promoted such a poor performer to head all 90 schools to improve the low performance of all 90 schools!!! Such wasting of the people's money deserves removal of both people who so demonstrated their lack of good judgement. This "experiment" resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of the people's money being wasted because of two people's poor judgement. Not only millions of our hard-earned tax dollars are misused, but with the results of this school, over the years thousands of children will end up on the street as a costly social problem. That will cost us, the public, again, a HUGE additional amount of money. How can it happen that poor performance does not result in removal of the persons who cannot do the job right? When you hire someone for a management job based on whom thousands of students' future will depend, but he produced bad results, and you do nothing about it? Well, you deserve to be removed. The problem is that it is a bad attitude under political management without real objectives that allows such poor management. We end up paying twice. First we pay one of the highest prices in the world for the children's education. But the schools did not teach them enough in 12 years, so that robotics will replace them. so that poor jobless child will cost society more, doubling the education expense. the culture that has been allowed to tolerate such poor management practices must end.

Poor management behavior like this needs to be eliminated urgently, and ACT objectives, that are NOT low expectation objectives like a 21 ACT score along with an operating plan must be implemented as described herein to eliminate such a problem.

 



***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT:
In future years there will be more increases in new technology-created jobs. The next big one is nanotechnology, only five years away. Many old jobs will disappear, just like decades ago when manufacturing industries changed to robotics. The new jobs will require significant increase in knowledge to upgrade existing workforce members well beyond what our high schools taught them. If the high school-created education was more advanced like in some other countries (e.g., in Finland, Canada, France, Germany or Singapore in mathematics and the sciences on the advanced level), then worker-retraining could be achieved within a reasonable time.


 

***IMPORTANT: We need much better recognition of what our children must accomplish. Not in football, but in graduation with much higher grades from high school. The schools are pushed to graduate 90% of those who entered high school. BUT academic readiness is not being pursued. Our ACT Readiness is only 13-17% of THOSE WHO GRADUATED IN TENNESSEE. FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN IT IS ONLY 3-6% OF THOSE WITH A DIPLOMA. A school in NYC, called Success Academy Schools is achieving 94-99% in 41 schools with poor, African American, inner city children. It is absolutely outrageous that we measure and push graduation rates instead of ACT readiness, and this practice is contributing to a purposeful dumbing down of our children, along with poor preparation of teachers in college. WE MUST FOCUS ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, AND NOT JUST ON MEETING THE STATES' GRADUATION REQUIREMENT, WHICH IS VERY LOW. OR MAKE THE GRADUATION REQUIREMENT EQUAL TO ACT READINESS OR HIGHER.

 



***IMPORTANT:
We graduate with a diploma 80-87% of our children. About 60% of them will be without a job by 2023 replaced by robotics, after accounting for learning disabilities and discipline issues. Because we are doing such a poor job teaching them, compared to the Success Academy Schools in NYC, our failure rate in Knox County is 60% which means that in the last fiscal year, our failure rate is costing us approximately $280,000,000 every year AND GROWING, as if we just burned that money with zero benefit to anyone. This is a repetitive percentage loss of BILLIONS OF DOLLARS for at least 14 years that we charted. The only benefit is to the parents of the poor performers. We are providing a very expensive baby sitting service to them. UNDER WHAT BASIS CAN WE FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET SO MANY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS? WE MUST BECOME MUCH MORE EFFICIENT IN SPENDING THE MONEY SUCH THAT THE CHILDREN WHO WORK HARD BENEFIT MORE, ALTHOUGH THIS HUGE LOSS HAS TO DO WITH THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AND THE KNOX COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT OPERATING WITH VERY POOR FINANCIAL AND OPERATING OVERSIGHT. WE MUST CORRECT THIS ISSUE. IT IS "TIME TO FACE THE TIGER" AND TELLING THE PUBLIC THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW PUBLIC EDUCATION IS DOING.

 



***IMPORTANT:
We are the only country among medium and high performing nations that does not have uniform national performance standards controlling education and high enough teacher training standards at universities to ensure significant improvement over what we have today. THE TN DEPT OF EDUCATION MUST DO THIS, AND IT HAS TO START WITH ENSURING PROPER ANNUAL ACT OBJECTIVES AND PROPER MONTHLY OBJECTIVES PER SCHOOL WITH AN ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN. THE OBJECTIVE HERE IS: "REDUCE THE HUGE 60-80% FAILURE BELOW 10%".

 



***IMPORTANT:
We decided to delegate virtually all education related decisions to the individual states, who in turn delegated all to the elected boards of school districts. A very bad move. We have to duplicate staff to do common functions.

 



***IMPORTANT:
About 13,500 school districts are doing their own thing in the USA based on elected boards who have no idea about how good or bad our performance is, where we stand compared to the best in the world, what we must do and why, but they do lie about their own actual performance to the public.

 



***IMPORTANT:
Board members elected get $20,000-$25,000 per year with no term limits in Knox County, Tennessee. In other countries, they use the best, highly-educated national talent, with proven high performance for such decisions, because education is viewed as a most important strategic asset for the country. Elected boards never discuss how to improve the poor student performance. But they spend a lot of time blindly approving expenses requested by the superintendent.

 



***IMPORTANT:
We are made to believe in the US that it is better to have an elected sample of local people who are in the best position to make important school-related decisions. Just look at the past five decades in school performance to decide if keeping the same would be a wise idea. We could not come up with a worse idea. The results show for many decades now that this method does not produce good results. We saw for the past 50 years that we made the wrong decisions.

 



***IMPORTANT:
Courage is lacking to start implementing changes to improve. The reason for this is the fact that those politicians in whose hands public education is, do not fully understand why education needs to be much better. The 13,500 school districts have plenty of money to keep the public satisfied with their stories. The result is that we are getting worse, and we dropped from the top to 40th in the world in high school mathematics.

 



***IMPORTANT:
There are goals and objectives that the states require. Rightfully so, because in low performing school districts with more than 100 school district employees, only "management by objectives" could work well. It is a management technique that focuses all employees to create systematic improvement. If one established monthly objective, that are a measurable key indicator of success or failure. When such a monthly objective is not a precisely controlled measurement, such as a GPA, then one could combine the monthly objective at year end with the precise measurement, such as an ACT score, to ensure a high-quality monthly objective management system.

 



***IMPORTANT:
The state does not explain what an objective must be in order for the objective to work, and the elected boards do not have any training in how to set the right objectives. In addition to the correct objectives, monthly operating plans need to be used for each school and central management, identifying monthly academic objectives for all supervisory and managerial positions (The Operating Plan).

 



***IMPORTANT:
Zero-based budgets are very important in focusing management employees on what needs to be accomplished. Look at actual examples of objectives that do not work that elected school board members use and the state Education Departments do nothing about them.

 



***IMPORTANT:
People rise to high expectation objectives that are a stretch but do not rise to low expectation objectives so well. The state education superintendent set a goal in ACT score achievement several years ahead, that represented less than a 5% increase for a three-year period (ACT score of 21).

 



***IMPORTANT:
A less than 5% objective-increase in a poorly performing environment on the state level is not motivating anyone, whereas in a high performing environment the right objective would be an average ACT score of 10% minimum when the ACT Readiness is under 50%. An ACT 21 average score results in only 25% of a graduating class being ready to learn a job beyond minimum wage.

 



***IMPORTANT:
The last item that is vital for higher achievement, is accurate planning and spending control using a zero-based budget, preferably. Such a budget includes every single planned action, their expenses and the total cost of employees for that action. It also ensures proper planning in detail.

 



***IMPORTANT:
But almost all 13,500 school districts nationally use objectives that are unmeasurable and are not a key indicator of what children have learned. Please look at examples here that did not work. They are the same as having no objectives and no operating plans. Under such circumstances, improved performance is NOT POSSIBLE.
Why? Because they just keep coming to work as before, doing the same work the same way as before. When a group of people do not change the way they work, they will keep producing the same results as before. See explanations of all these terms above in more detail here. For a predictable, relatively smooth progress, an operating plan is essential for every supervisor or manager.
Elected board members receive $20,000 - $25,000 per year in Knox County, Tennessee without term limits, and to top it off they do not discuss at board meetings how to improve the poor education results. Most elected school board members "think that they know" what to do, but no one is trained and experienced in the subjects in question, and no one on the board knows why the performance is so low and why high performing countries are high performers. All of this includes the state departments of education as well.

 



***IMPORTANT:
How can anyone claim that the voting majority of elected school board members, who represent the local public, have the knowledge to guide a school district to improve our children's education? The truth is that we did not improve for decades with this arrangement. IS A GOVERNOR SO OCCUPIED WITH HIGHER PRIORITY ACTIONS THAN FIXING OUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION AS DECADES PASSED BY SO THAT NOTHING IS DONE TO FIX THE PROBLEM? And we depend on 13,500 independent school districts in the nation to improve, when they have never done it before? WHY DOESN'T ANY STATE START BY CENTRALIZING FUNCTIONS THAT REQUIRE DUPLICATION OF EFFORT IN EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT TODAY?

 



***IMPORTANT:
Not many are aware that teacher training in the USA is poor, and there is no testing/evaluation psychologically for the suitability of a candidate for teaching (Read about it here). The ideal choice in the top performing countries in education is a teacher candidate who is in the top ten percent in his/her Master's program in the subject that the candidate is to teach, and psychological tests show the candidate to be an excellent match to the teaching profession. Teaching methodologies and learning-disability diagnoses are covered every year after hiring because these things improve each year if a country wants to be excellent in teaching of its students.

 



***IMPORTANT:
The majority of superintendents hired by board members have no idea how to improve education because the elected board members have no training and experience in interviewing and hiring the right people for the job, who know what to do. Board members do not even spend time about learning the facts about the candidates' performance to date before an interview. The reason for the helplessness of elected school boards appears to be that those people who have enough management experience, do not want to be wasting their time at board meetings arguing all the time and losing to a majority who do not understand the problems and have no idea what to do, but they defend their own inexperienced opinion at all cost.





***IMPORTANT:
We need much better recognition of what our children must accomplish. Not in football, but in graduation with much higher grades from high school. The schools are pushed to graduate 90% of those who entered high school. BUT academic readiness is not being pursued. Our ACT Readiness is only 13-17% of THOSE WHO GRADUATED IN TENNESSEE. FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN IT IS ONLY 3-6% OF THOSE WITH A DIPLOMA. A school in NYC, called Success Academy Schools is achieving 94-99% in 41 schools with poor, African American, inner city children. It is absolutely outrageous that we measure and push graduation rates instead of ACT readiness, and this practice is contributing to a purposeful dumbing down of our children, along with poor preparation of teachers in college.
WE MUST FOCUS ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, AND NOT JUST ON MEETING THE STATES' GRADUATION REQUIREMENT, WHICH IS VERY LOW. OR MAKE THE GRADUATION REQUIREMENT EQUAL TO ACT READINESS OR HIGHER.

 



***IMPORTANT:
We graduate with a diploma 80-87% of our children. About 60% of them will be without a job by 2023 replaced by robotics, after accounting for learning disabilities and discipline issues. Because we are doing such a poor job teaching them, compared to the Success Academy Schools in NYC, our failure rate in Knox County is 60% which means that In the last fiscal year, our failure rate is costing us approximately $280,000,000 every year AND GROWING, as if we just burned that money with zero benefit to anyone. This is a repetitive percentage loss of BILLIONS OF DOLLARS for at least 14 years that we charted. The only benefit is to the parents of the poor performers. We are providing a very expensive baby sitting service to them. UNDER WHAT BASIS CAN WE FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET SO MANY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS? WE MUST BECOME MUCH MORE EFFICIENT IN SPENDING THE MONEY SUCH THAT THE CHILDREN WHO WORK HARD BENEFIT MORE, ALTHOUGH THIS HUGE LOSS HAS TO DO WITH THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AND THE KNOX COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT OPERATING WITH VERY POOR FINANCIAL AND OPERATING OVERSIGHT. WE MUST CORRECT THIS ISSUE. IT IS "TIME TO FACE THE TIGER" AND TELLING THE PUBLIC THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW PUBLIC EDUCATION IS DOING.

 



***IMPORTANT:
We are the only country among medium and high performing nations that does not have uniform national performance standards controlling education and high enough teacher training standards at universities to ensure significant improvement over what we have today. THE TN DEPT OF EDUCATION MUST DO THIS, AND IT HAS TO START WITH ENSURING PROPER ANNUAL ACT OBJECTIVES AND PROPER MONTHLY OBJECTIVES PER SCHOOL WITH AN ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN. THE OBJECTIVE HERE IS: "HOW TO MAKE THE HUGE 60% FAILURE AMOUNT PRODUCTIVE".

 



***IMPORTANT:
We decided to delegate virtually all education related decisions to the individual states, who in turn delegated all to the elected boards of 13,500 school districts. A very bad move. We have to duplicate staff to do common functions.

 



***IMPORTANT:
About 13,500 school districts are doing their own thing in the USA based on elected boards who have no idea about how good or bad our performance is, where we stand compared to the best in the world, what we must do and why, but they do lie about their own actual performance to the public.

 



***IMPORTANT:
Board members elected get $20,000-$25,000 per year with no term limits in Knox County, Tennessee. In other countries, they use the best, highly-educated national talent, with proven high performance for such decisions, because education is viewed as a most important strategic asset for the country. Elected boards never discuss how to improve the poor student performance. But they spend a lot of time blindly approving expenses requested by the superintendent.

 



***IMPORTANT:
We are made to believe in the US that it is better to have an elected sample of local people who are in the best position to make important school-related decisions. Just look at the past five decades in school performance to decide if keeping the same would be a wise idea. We could not come up with a worse idea. The results show for many decades now that this method does not produce good results. We saw for the past 50 years that we made the wrong decisions.

 



***IMPORTANT:
Courage is lacking to start implementing changes to improve. The reason for this is the fact that those politicians in whose hands public education is, do not fully understand why education needs to be much better. The 13,500 school districts have plenty of money to keep the public satisfied with their stories. The result is that we are getting worse, and we dropped from the top to 40th in the world in high school mathematics.

 



***IMPORTANT:
There are goals and objectives that the states require. Rightfully so, because in low performing school districts with more than 100 school district employees, only "management by objectives" could work well. It is a management technique that focuses all employees to create systematic improvement. If one established monthly objectives, that are a measurable key indicator of success or failure. When such a monthly objective is not a precisely controlled measurement, such as a GPA, then one could combine the monthly objective at year end with the precise measurement, such as an ACT score, to ensure a high quality monthly objective management system.

 



***IMPORTANT:
The state does not explain what an objective must be in order for the objective to work, and the elected boards do not have any training in how to set the right objectives. In addition to the correct objectives, monthly operating plans need to be used for each school and central management, identifying monthly academic objectives for all supervisory and managerial positions (The Operating Plan).

 



***IMPORTANT:
Zero-based budgets are very important in focusing management employees on what needs to be accomplished. Look at actual examples of objectives that do not work that elected school board members use and the state Education Departments do nothing about them.

 



***IMPORTANT:
People rise to high expectation objectives that are a stretch but do not rise to low expectation objectives so well. The state education superintendent set a goal in ACT score achievement several years ahead, that represented less than a 5% increase for a three year period (ACT score of 21).

 



***IMPORTANT:
A less than 5% objective-increase in a poorly performing environment on the state level is not motivating anyone, whereas in a high performing environment the right objective would be an average ACT score of 10% minimum when the ACT Readiness is under 50%. An ACT 21 average score results in only 25% of a graduating class being ready to learn a job beyond minimum wage.

 



***IMPORTANT:
The last item that is vital for higher achievement, is accurate planning and spending control using a zero-based budget, preferably. Such a budget includes every single planned action, their expenses and the total cost of employees for that action. It also ensures proper planning in detail. It is NOT a bucket of money based on past spending, plus some percentage.



***IMPORTANT:
But almost all 13,500 school districts nationally use objectives that are unmeasurable and are not a key indicator of what children have learned. Please look at examples here that did not work. They are the same as having no objectives and no operating plans. Under such circumstances, improved performance is NOT POSSIBLE.
Why? Because they just keep coming to work as before, doing the same work the same way as before. When a group of people do not change the way they work, they will keep producing the same results as before. See explanations of all these terms above in more detail here. For a predictable, relatively smooth progress, an operating plan is essential for every supervisor or manager.
Elected board members receive $20,000 - $25,000 per year in Knox County, Tennessee without term limits, and to top it off they do not discuss how to improve the education results at board meetings. Most elected school board members "think that they know" what to do, but no one is trained and experienced in the subjects in question, and no one on the board knows why the performance is so low and why high performing countries are high performers. All of this includes the state departments of education as well.




IMPORTANT Not many are aware that teacher training in the USA is poor, and there is no testing/evaluation psychologically for the suitability of a candidate for teaching (Read about it here). The ideal choice in the top performing countries in education is a teacher candidate who is in the top ten percent in his/her Master's program in the subject that the candidate is to teach, and psychological tests show the candidate to be an excellent match to the teaching profession. Teaching methodologies and learning-disability diagnoses are covered every year after hiring because these things improve each year if a country wants to be excellent in teaching of its students.

 



IMPORTANT The majority of superintendents hired by board members have no idea how to improve education because the elected board members have no training and experience in interviewing and hiring the right people for the job, who know what to do. Board members do not even spend time about learning the facts about the candidates' performance to date before an interview. The reason for the helplessness of elected school boards appears to be that those people who have enough management experience, do not want to be wasting their time at board meetings arguing all the time and losing to a majority who do not understand the problems and have no idea what to do, but they defend their own inexperienced opinion at all cost.




Most of our public schools fail to prepare 83-87% of our children today in 2018 to be READY TO LEARN TO BE EMPLOYABLE. Our taxes are paying billions for the poor public education. We would be very angry if 83-87% of the Fords or Toyotas we bought failed to function and we could not even get a refund. Ford or Toyota would have to fix all the problems at their expense, or they would be out of business.

IS OUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE LESS IMPORTANT THAN THE FORD OR TOYOTA EXAMPLE MENTIONED? IT APPEARS THAT WAY. THERE IS NO OTHER BUSINESS THAT COULD CONTINUE WITH THE HIGH FAILURE RATE THAT OUR PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS PRODUCE. THE LAW GUARANTEES THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT SCHOOLS RECEIVED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. THIS IS TRUE IN EVERY STATE. IS THIS AN INCENTIVE TO DO AN EXCELLENT JOB, THAT THEY CLAIM THEY ARE DOING?

The evidence in the attached chart shows that when the school system promises "Excellence for All Children", it actually delivers very poorly educated children. When such a slogan is without an explanation within the slogan itself, it is only a slogan and promise by those who use it. 80% of those high school graduates who earned a high school diploma, who cannot communicate properly in English, cannot do basic mathematics, cannot fill out job applications, and have a bad attitude about life and the job they manage to get. WHY DON'T WE HOLD EDUCATION DISTRICTS TO A "TRUTH IN ADVERTISING" STANDARD, WITH A SIGNIFICANT PENALTY, SINCE THEIR INCOME COULD NOT BE REDUCED IN RESPONSE?

We propose that the above facts show along with the good PR that is incorporated in any news presented to the public, that not only the Knox County School district is NOT PROVIDING Excellence for ALL Children, but falsely informs the public about how well the schools are training our children, such that 80% of them are likely to be replaced by robots.

It is fundamental that when school district performance is poor for more than 2-3 years, so is your state education department, elected school district board and central management.

 




rubik's1 Such a long-term decline in what our children learned since 1970, dumbed down the public, damaged the workforce, the citizenry and progressively the future of our children and our state and country.

 

rubik's2 WHO ARE THE "CUSTOMERS" FOR THE SCHOOLS' "PRODUCT" (the STUDENT). It is the employers and the universities.

We cannot afford to keep delivering one of the worst results in the industrialized world, as the 5th highest spenders in the world per student. If superintendents and those in charge of education do not know that much, then replace them. Otherwise, you end up with "failure factories" like we have today in Tennessee.




Our schools' slogan is "EXCELLENCE FOR ALL CHILDREN". Look at the record of the school district in charts similar to those presented above. 80% of all students and 94% of African American students graduate with a diploma, but without being prepared to learn a job. And we are spending more than HALF BILLION DOLLARS ON THEM EVERY YEAR in our school district alone! Our state Departments of Education are purposefully doing something to dumb down the state tests, that is also dumbing down our children. We suggested during the last ten years for them to have ACT score goals/objectives that are only 10% higher than the previous ACT score achieved. The great majority of jobs have objectives to focus the organization on results. The school districts refuse to be measured against a goal/objective that measures how much their students have learned. WHY DO YOU THINK THEY DO THAT?

PERFORMANCE IS AVERAGE AT BEST BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO MANY TEACHERS WHO ARE NOT WELL SUITED TO THEIR JOB AND DO NOT KNOW THE SUBJECT THEY TEACH WELL ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO PRESENT IT WITH ENTHUSIASM. AFTER ALL, MANY HAVE GONE INTO TEACHING BECAUSE IT WAS EASIER THAN THE MAJOR AREA OF STUDY THEY ORIGINALLY SELECTED. THEY DID NOT WANT TO WORK THAT HARD.




There is a school system with 47 schools in New York called Success Academy Schools. They achieve TOP 1-5% results on tests with poor, inner city African American children!! We achieve BOTTOM 1-5% with African American children. We always throw money at the problem. We suggested to school district management and the board for the last four years to visit this school system to find out how they achieve such high results. They decided not to go and do not think they could benefit from such a trip. We spent twice as much money per student on the two bottom schools, as we spent on the other schools for more than a decade, and the results did not improve. We kept giving diplomas to ALMOST 90% of the graduates who were not prepared for learning any job. Three years ago the superintendent (JM) promoted the long time principal of one of these poorly performing schools, whose ACT Scores and Readiness has always been second from the bottom, to head and improve the education results in all 90+ schools!! So he made sure that the school district did not have any ACT-based objectives. Unbelievable. In our opinion, unfortunately, our public schools are doing exactly what lowers our children's grades, and there is no management focus by the state to turn the poor results around. We do all this to the public's children, and we pay for it one of the highest expenses per student in the world, using the people's hard-earned tax dollars.

Our school district's slogan is EXCELLENCE FOR ALL CHILDREN. Such a slogan without an explanation as part of the slogan, wants to create the impression that this school system provides excellence for all children. I ask you: Is OUR PERFORMANCE the "EXCELLENCE" that you HAVE IN OUR TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS OR SUPERINTENDENTS TODAY for your children and grandchildren? Why did our school board and previous boards keep such slogans and such people?


Copyright(c) 2008-2019 V. Spencer
This is a work in progress.
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