Sunday, April 01, 2018

April is "Autism Month"

I was sent (Valerie) this link for a new web site. The magazine provides expert advice from respected professionals about autism and offers solutions for families.

Check it out it is really good!

Click here

 or on the ASD Label (Left Sidebar) for more of my posts on Autism.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

54% of Michigan third-graders failed proficiency reading test. Whose at Fault? The system of course!

Michigan's education system continues to fail our students based on recent and past state proficiency tests.
These results are based on public school test scores. Parents of children in private schools fool themselves and think there child is receiving a better education but private schools do not have to share tests results. Working in a private school for 8 years I can tell you there is a high percentage of students who are not reading at grade level. Math is also a problem.

So where is the failure?
 There is a danger here (All of the agencies and so-called educational watchers) that continues in our educational systems and that is we continue to monitor/grade/evaluate our educational systems with outdated means (Using only result/after the fact measures). We grade our educational systems based on after the fact detection and inspection with a "fix and then replace mentality."  Ask any teacher how many standards and policies they must adhere to that have come down the pike from the Federal government to their own school systems.

While the student is the product that continues to be graded and evaluated and then the school there is no means for evaluating the systems and processes that produced the grade.

Case in point. Why do so many children dislike school after third grade? Why do so many teachers wish to leave the profession and no longer want to be in the classroom?

How many students that are failing the proficiency tests (RESULT MEASURE) are on a plan of action to improve (PROCESS MEASURE)? Not just as a part of the whole class but specifically for their needs. We can't continue to wait until the tests to identify and inspect quality in our students (This is the methods that the auto companies used to detect defects that costs them their industry) after the fact.
"In order for each student to be successful there must be an understanding and balance between the partners."

Click on Pic to Enlarge

I have been using the "Quality Educational Partnership Triangle" since 2004. It comes in handy when I talk to teachers and most importantly when I talk to parents about education and what is need to help their child succeed in school. All groups must be working together for the student to be successful. If one corner of the triangle fails the percentage of the student to be successful falls at an alarming rate based on my years of meeting with thousands of students and parents.

It is a very simple concept that relies on each corner (Administrators,  Parents, and Teachers) of the triangle to be working together interdependently. The main three groups of the triangle are revolving around the student rather than teachers, parents or administrators.

Teachers and Parents know if their student/child can't read and they each blame each other for the problem and expect the other to fix it. Parents you better get involved from day one of school and  read to you child at home 5-7 days a week even if it is a short story.  The love of reading must take place as much as you need to feed and cloth your child.

Teachers you best put a child on an improvement plan that goes with that child from second grade on once it is determined they have a reading deficiency. Administrators it is your job to lead and make sure this is being done. 

Parents - if this is not done pull your child from that school and find one that is willing to work with you and your child.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

"The Most Fragile Loss of All is that of a Child."

"The Most Fragile Loss of All is that of a Child." - qualityg

Especially when done in a senselessness act of murder!

When will something be done?

When?  When it happens to a Politicians Child/Family Member. For example; Just like Autism for years could not get government's attention until many of the senators and congresspeople were affected in their own families.

Most politicians represent themselves first, then, the special interest groups that got them elected and then "maybe" the people who got them elected.

Use your common sense and start passing preventive measures - NOW!

I am so sick of seeing your Bi-Partisan antics and useless mumble jumble. My God you should be embarrassed and ashamed - All of You! Your Indifference to what is RIGHT is beyond comprehension in so many matters.  You look to divide when we need unity and your look to tear apart when we need the Systemic Whole of a Nation.

 "There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." -- John Adams

Friday, February 02, 2018

Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.

Image result for Game of Thrones Shame

Disgusting display by so-called leaders.
Resistance: Here's What Democrats Refused to Applaud During Trump's SOTU Address

Like many I'm sick of the political environment (All Sides) that is going on in Washington. A new low at the 2018 State of the Union address. There are certain things  that must be put aside and applauded and not SHAMED: Like ...

- the American Flag and the National Anthem
- fighting the opioid epidemic
- merit-based immigration
- in God we Trust - diminishing the Islamic State
- lower prescription drug costs
How about this gem:
President Trump Addresses The Nation In His First State Of The Union Address To Joint Session Of Congress

Yep - U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence played the game Candy Crush on her smartphone Tuesday during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.The Southfield MICHIGAN Democrat was caught in the act by a photographer for Getty Images, who snapped a shot from overhead of Lawrence and two other House members checking their phones during the one-hour, 20-minute address.

Oh Yes, 

Image result for Game of Thrones Shame

All of You from the President on Down !!! Don't play games with my Life.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

State of Michigan "Parent Dashboard Resources"

The online Parent Dashboard was developed by the MDE in collaboration with the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) to advance the State Board of Education’s vision of an easy-to-use dashboard filled with meaningful school-level data that offers a more balanced picture of school quality.

Purpose: The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has developed a set of strategies to help Michigan become a Top 10 education state in 10 years. Progress toward this goal will be assessed in six broad areas: 
Early Learning, Engagement, Effective Educators, Equity, Exit Ready and Efficacy.
I must say I do like what the State has done. My only hope is they have included "process" Measures to identify problem areas before they become problems and are shown as results (Which are Dashboard Metrics (See Below). I would also suggest the State include "National" Benchmark results since the goal is to become a top ten educational state (Where are we now?).
I would also suggest my Characteristics of an Educational Team Leader which includes my 7eee's -
Are the data being collected going to be shown as "Results" measures as opposed to also including Process Measures? 

CRITICAL POINT 1: I suggest and hope the State School Superintendent  is aware of the difference between Common and Special Cause Variation. And, Dr. Deming's System of Profound Knowledge. If you really want to improve Governor Snyder please study and adopt the System of Profound Knowledge.

Do any of you reading this know what I am talking about? Some of you will, the majority will not. We are all more concerned if the changes being introduced by the governor will affect us personally. Heck, we like change as long as it is not happening to us. 

I would recommend all officials read and digest this book.

CRITICAL POINT 2: Before implementing these type of measure you must make sure you are using a systems thinking approach and by that I mean include all your principal people from each step of the process/system. By not including front-line/customer facing employees (Especially in the design stages) you are doomed to failure. Why? Because you will ultimately be a "Results Oriented" Leader which happens when you are surrounded by business/government bureaucratic who manage by the "Bottom Line" and do not take people in to consideration when making systemic changes be them small or large.

Dashboard Metrics 
Perhaps the picture below will give the best example of what they are and what they look like if done correctly. The pictorial illustrates a company that needs to respond to a customer inquiry for service or repair. While the charts below show bar graphs I would also add control charts when the proper amount of data are collected to make sure the process is in control (Control can be good or bad).

Click on Pic to Enlarge 

The following provides a method for setting up effective measures: 

Measurements should track how well our processes are performing according to:
• Customer Expectations (including customer perception) and Organization Objectives
• Customer Satisfaction • Value Drivers
• Competitive Benchmarking • Employee Satisfaction The above stated types of measurements will help determine the overall quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of all processes.
The activities involved in defining and establishing measures include:
1. Determining effective measures
2. Reviewing and validating existing measures
3. Implementing new measurements
4. Install a measurement and reporting system
5. Establish a feedback and monitoring system
6. Monitor measurements

Effective measures provide an insightful means about the efficiency of a process. Measures of this type are meant to track and align performance (process) and results (quality) indicators of a business process. 

Establishing Effective Measurements:
Create effective measurements based upon the following:
• Customer expectations/requirements
• Practical to implement
• Easy to comprehend
• Consensus of agreement by group
• Able to help drive culture change

What to Measure:
Establish measurements based upon customer expectations and business objectives. These measurements should measure what our customers care about and what will drive our Value Drivers toward exceeding Operational business objectives.

Develop objective measures of customer satisfaction. Without measures, we have no means by objectively assessing the magnitude by which our processes are performing to customer and business requirements, and whether or not our improvement efforts and newly implemented systems have improved the process.

These types of measurements should provide objective data that will drive decisions that will produce long-term customer preference. 

If suppliers are included, be sure to measure input characteristics and services.

How to Measure:
Implement simple, easy to understand measurements whenever possible. Measurements that are complex will not be used.

It is vital that our measurements be easily defined, understood and communicated to assure common understanding.

A small amount of meaningful measures are worth 10 times more than a large amount of nice to know measures (non-value added).

It's OK to experiment with measures, if they don't tell you what you need, stop measuring and create new ones.

If at the beginning measured identification is difficult, start with customer satisfaction, every major process has a customer.

Don't just measure one aspect of a process. Your measurements should be balanced with variable, attribute and some subjective characteristics like time, cost, quantity and customer perception.

Evaluating Measures:
In the beginning it might be best to implement a few strategically based measurements. As stated before, it's best to experiment and monitor the effectiveness of few, rather than implementing a large amount and never monitor.


Once we've identified and understood what makes effective measurement, it is necessary to assess measurements that are already in place. Effective measurements provide input data that drive motivation for continuous improvement. Those that do not measure up should be changed or eliminated.

Measurement Balance:
If current measurements are only measuring internal business objectives, move to measure the effectiveness of our processes or solutions from a customer perspective.

Measure Behavior:
Implement measures that level to desired behavioral results. Verify the measures do not drive undesired behavior by our workers or to your customers. For example, many companies have found that they speculated "speed of answer" as a desirable measurement for customer satisfaction. Customer survey and interviews found that quality of service provided was more important than speed of answer.

It is vital that any new measurements implemented are effective and efficient and that it is collected, analyzed, and used in a way that motivates positive behavior and not punitive threats to workers.

Data Collection:
Make sure those responsible for collecting or installing new measurements are familiar with data and are part of the implementation plan.

Installing a measurement and reporting system requires an action plan of implementation that identifies the roles and responsibilities of the Process Owner and Sub-Process Owners who will be accountable for the measures.

This also requires agreement on what measures will be reported and that method and system support is available. The Action Plan must include trend analysis and plans of who will respond to them in a timely basis.

Whenever possible and cost effective, automate as many measurements as possible. The advantage is more accurate and timely data collection and analysis. 

Share Measurements:
Post measurements data in visible places, so that results can be shared by workers in the process. It's also a good idea to keep everyone in the process informed from end-to-end.

By establishing a feedback system, employees will keep abreast of changing expectations and update the current process as required.

Sharing Feedback:
Corporate Quality, Marketing, Sales and Front Line customer facing employees must keep upper management aware of changing customer needs so that business objectives and measurements may be changed accordingly.
It's also important to share feedback with workers in the process as well as customers and suppliers.

Employees identified as measurement owners must constantly evaluate their measurements, reassess customer needs, and continuously search for new ways to use data for continuous improvement.

Evaluate Measurements:
If your measurements are not accurately reflecting process performance or drive undesirable behavior, they should be removed. Update or install new measures as needed.

Benchmark Measures:
Benchmarking your process measurement performance relative to your competitors will be vital to competition. Benchmarking provides information to leaders that helps establish performance targets based on data from the marketplace. Benchmarking is a useful method to supply additional data and information but not to be used exclusively for changes or measurements.

It's also important reminder that if you want to use Benchmarking as a means to be the best please realize you will not obtain that goal by simply Benchmarking another company (They will always be better than you).