Friday, April 21, 2006

Quality Education --> Math & Science vs Heart & Lungs - They are all losers without the rest of the system - HuH?

Math & Science Go Together Like Heart & Lungs

I’m really tired of reading and hearing about how bad this problem is in our educational system. I have written about this before and I will continue to write about this subject until someone in our education system comes to terms with the fact that we will create another disaster in leadership like we do with thinking MBAs are the answer to our leadership and management system in American Business (WRONG).

Let me try to explain, Math and Science are important to the educational system just like the Heart and Lungs are to the human system. HOWEVER, they are only parts (yes major) of the system. Independently they will fail and cannot survive.

The Heart & Lungs must be part of the overall human system or they are useless unless they can pump blood and air to other vital organs within the human body.

Math and Science are no different to the educational system. Alone or together they will not round out or complete what it means and takes to be a functional member of society. History, Geography, Civics, Language Literacy, Music, Arts, Physical Fitness … must also be included for a person to survive in what we call the human race.

We tend to go overboard when we lack in a certain area, unfortunately by the time we find out we are way behind. Putting all you eggs in one basket will not solve the problem going forward. Will somebody please look at problems in a systemic manner?

State Warns Colleges They Better Shape Up Fast

I love it when people in authority like CEOs and in this case State Education Superintendents declare and pontificate that things and people get better because they said so.

In Michigan, Mr. Flanagan who has been in office less than a year said if colleges don’t start certifying better teachers fast he is going to set up a “RATING” system by June of this year. What he failed to mention is that ratings's evil twin “RANKING” will also go with this ridiculous declaration.

Mr. Flanagan, business and education have been trying to set up rating and raking systems for decades and they all fail, so how are you going to do it by June.

To prove this point I went out yesterday in my backyard and yelled at my new trees I recently planted to get stronger, healthier and taller by June or I will rate you and cut down those that don’t heed my commands.

The wind suddenly picked up and blew through the older trees and said “ What an idiot, do you know nothing about care taking, cultivating, leadership and growth?”

Monday, April 17, 2006

Quality Leadership ? – Who Is He?---> He didn't understand leadership, he was abusive, he was arrogant, and he did not build a strong team.

After reading this Blog Title I wonder how many of you thought of your boss, maybe a sports coach, a politician or an educational administrator?

It still amazes me that these so-called leadership characteristics are so common today with many of our leaders. No wonder the American Management style that is taught in our leading universities and academies produces talent that, well stinks!

A boss of mine once said when posed with such a question. I have been promoted being this way, why should I change, look at where you are and where I am at, now who do you think has the better leadership qualities. As long as I am rewarded for my actions I will not change. This person is now a vice-president.

So who is the leader I am talking about?

Rumsfeld Vs. The Three Generals?

Army Major General John Batiste - "We went to war with a flawed plan that didn't account for the hard work to build the peace after we took down the regime. We also served under a secretary of Defense who didn't understand leadership, who was abusive, who was arrogant, who didn't build a strong team."

Army Major General John Riggs - "He has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. ... Mr. Rumsfeld must step down."

Army Major General Paul Eaton - "He has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. "Mr. Rumsfeld must step down."

qualityg says...
Wow - all Retired Generals. I have known a few generals in my time and most of them had the same qualities as Secretary Rumsfeld.

It really saddens me to know that people in such high positions who do not do what is morally or ethically correct when they hold power and then cry after the fact. Forget military rules and procedures, if you felt this way then do something when you had the power and don't give me this crap about only one voice. I'm not supporting Rumsfeld by any means, but how mant soldiers and parents want to read this garbage while we are at war and kids are dying.

As I stated above this is not just military problem, it is a "Leadership" problem. Too many "stooges" in high positions.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Verizon's Leader "Ivan the Terrible" pillages, loots and plunders (updated 4/13/06) - How about his CEO Pals --> Who Makes the Biggest Bucks?

Verizon Communications Inc. Leadership announced Monday it would stop contributing to pension plans for managers, a move that would save about $3 billion over the next 10 years.

Verizon unveiled its retirement benefits plans for current employees ahead of the company's merger with MCI next year

Verizon said it would increase matching dollars for its 401(k) plan for those employees, as well as for MCI managers who join Verizon after Verizon's purchase of MCI Inc. (qg says… Not a bad idea if their stock would ever move, just watch what happens, the company will purchase and sell stock to control the price).

The changes will not affect current retirees. Management employees hired after Jan. 1, 2006, will not earn pension benefits.

Shares of Verizon, down more than 20 percent in the year, fell 16 cents to close at $31.71 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The pension plan announcement was made after the market's close.

Other companies, such as Hewlett-Packard Co. Motorola Inc, and International Business Machines Corp all have scaled back on their respective pension plans over the past two years.

President Bush says… American businesses best to live up to their pension promises, saying too many companies are not putting away enough money to protect the retirement benefits of their workers.

"My message to corporate America is, you need to fulfill your promises," Bush said. "When you say to a worker, 'This is what they're going get when they retire,' you better put enough money in the account to make sure the worker gets that which you said."

"So Congress needs to straighten up these rules," Bush said. Members of his economic team said pension-reform legislation moving through Congress is not tough enough. "And I'm not going to sign a bill that weakens pension funding for the American workers," Bush said.

qg says… sounds good Mr. President but how does that help the Verizon Employees now/today? Perhaps Congress will get around to it some time after the holidays when the merger will officially be done.

High School Business classes should require that each student take a class in saving for retirement and money management.

Now tell me again how mergers and acquisitions are good? Oh yes, “some employees” make more money, while the majority of workers lose out.

Earlier this year, SBC said it would restructure its pension plan in an effort to lower the cost of its pension liability. And it's likely BellSouth and Qwest Communications will take similar steps to keep their cost structures in line.

MCI stock will now be part of Verizon just like AT&T and SBC. Will Verizon take on the MCI/WorldCom logo? After all were they not a global force like AT&T? Whoopsy, I almosy forgot about Bernie Ebbers and the boys.

Communication Workers of America (CWA) better wake up and not wait until next contract talks. Rank & File Members you better control your own destiny, do not leave it up to your elected officials.

UPDATED 03/20/06

Verizon CEO Ivan "The Terrible" Seidenberg Ransacks

The CEO pulled in $19.4 million in salary, bonuses and stock awards last year, according to a federal filing Monday. His combined pay represents a 43% raise over the $13.5 million Seidenberg pocketed in 2004.

In 2005, shares of Verizon ended 25% below where they started the year. But Seidenberg scored particularly well in restricted stock awards. He got $11.3 million worth of shares in 2005, nearly doubling his $6.3 million take in 2004.

qualityg says ...
Board of Directors ---> you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Updated 4/13/06
Here are some links to stories that will question what your CEO is really worth to you and your company. Do you know who is on your Board of Directors?
Who Made the Biggest Bucks?

911 calls go unanswered ---> Leadership --> are you hiring the right people for the job? Your manager has no idea!

Boy's calls for help go unanswered

911 operator told him to stop playing on the phone

A Detroit boy who called 911 to report his mother had collapsed and was told by an operator that he shouldn't be playing on the phone.By the time authorities arrived following Robert Turner's calls on February 20th, his mother Sherrill Turner was dead.

Lawyer Geoffrey Fieger is planning a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Sherrill Turner's family.Fieger says Robert's mother -- who had an enlarged heart -- would have survived if help had been sent immediately.

According to the 911 transcripts, when Robert first called 911 about 6 p.m., an operator asked him to bring an adult to the phone. Robert told the operator he couldn't.

At one point, "she hanged up on me," Robert said Friday. The recording indicates the dispatcher hung up after saying she would send police. They did not arrive.

Robert called back around 9 p.m. At that point, an operator told him he shouldn't be playing on the phone and threatened to send police if he did not put his mother on the phone.

Robert said he was scared and hung up.

qualityg says … I’m not going to bash the 911 systems; I’m going to re-post an answer I gave to an Email question I received last July (2005).

“What do you think is the most important process in a company?
- Jackie B.

Years ago I gave the standard quality response “ the most important process that any company has is the process (es) that adds value to the customer.” About ten years ago I changed my answer and still believe the “hiring” process is the most important process in the company.

Many people have debated me on that answer and there is truth to there arguments. So if it’s not the most important I say it is the most important “undervalued” process in a company.
We all know most American Management spout employees are the most important assets to a company. Then why are they considered an expense that needs to be reduced to make up for debt or loss of revenue (because it’s easy)?

Human Resources doesn’t carry much weight when it comes to being considered a critical department within an organization. However, when you stop looking through narrow eyes and open your self to systems thinking (end-to-end), the HR department is at the beginning and the end of an employees process.

HR hires and HR conducts your exit review and papers.Now, think in terms of process control and understand that most problems occur early on in a process and they intern cause multiple downstream problems and bottlenecks.

Quality Experts and Process Improvement Teams will attack and try to correct all the “symptoms” downstream (often blaming a person and not the system). The process originated by placing employees in jobs they are not qualified for or can no longer do the job as technology increases and more skills are required (just a few examples).

Maybe the HR representatives are not qualified or have the tools to do their jobs.You see Jackie, Management owns the hiring system. It is not a worker’s fault if placed in a job where failure is guaranteed. It is not the worker’s fault if a company slashes training and education that is required as new technology is implemented.

It is Management’s job to replace the worker if they are not performing and place them in a job where they can take pride of their work (do we really think people want to fail).

qualityg says … most managers do not see the value in HR processes. Most managers will blame the employee. Most managers do not understand sytems thinking. Most managers will not put money and best resources up-front in the design phase of process development. Most managers will wonder what happened after the company settles for millions of dollars in lawsuits. Most managers will continue to re-act instead of doing prevention. Most managers feel HR personnel are the slugs of the company and go there when no one elso wants them. Most of these type of managers are idiots! Most of them make major decisions.
How much do you want to bet that in future stories about this tragedy the manager or supervisor of the worker will state how much they all learned from this and will go back and give workers updated training!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Quality Education - see update 4/11/06 - Am I the only one perplexed about the high school standards being raised?

State Board of Education Approves Increased State High School Graduation Requirements - qualityg responds

Below is part of the approval memorandum that approves the increase in High School Graduation Requirements. Following this I asked a number of questions about the survey. I tried to respond on the State Educational Site but it would not go through their system.

December 13, 2005

LANSING - The State Board of Education unanimously approved today a set of increased state high school graduation requirements for all Michigan students.

Four years of math and English language arts and three years of science are among the requirements; as well as three credits of social studies, two credits of world languages, and one credit each of health/physical education and visual and performing arts. Currently, only one semester of civics is required for high school graduation under state law.

"This change was absolutely necessary," said State Board of Education President Kathleen N. Straus. "With the evolving economy and global pressures on what education and skills students will need for the jobs of today and tomorrow, we needed to act now."

"What we've done here today is so very important for the future of the State of Michigan," Straus added, It is not just for the students, but for the future of the entire state."

The requirements include what is being called the Michigan Merit Curriculum that combines a core list of rigorous academic classes, along with a list of 21st Century skill sets that will be integrated and taught in all courses.

The Michigan Merit Core of academic courses in the State Board's plan include:
four years of English language arts;
one year each of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and an additional math class in the senior year;
one year each of Biology; Physics or Chemistry; and one additional year of science;
three years of social science, which must include a semester of civics and a semester of economics;
two years of world languages;
one year of health/physical education; and
one year of visual and performing arts.

The State Board also requires that all high school students take the Michigan Merit Exam, or the alternate MI-ACCESS assessment for students with severe disabilities; and that all students complete at least one on-line credit or non-credit course or learning experience, in order to graduate. See related story at Michigan Considers Requiring High-School Students to Take at Least One Online Course

The basis of the recommendations was collected by a research task force of education experts commissioned to study the issues and investigate the best practices of five other states that have implemented high school graduation requirements.

What follows are some questions I have regarding the High School Content Expectations. The document can be found at High School Content Expectations.
Overall I applaud the efforts for improving the criteria. However, I am concerned by What Methods will be used to accomplish this task. Perhaps my questions may cause others to think and provide more information and questions for the method of implementation.

1) When presenting expectations/requirements there should be developed and associated corresponding goals, milestones, project plan and dates. Where can I find these plans?

2) The presentation package tells me the "What," Where can I see the "How?"

3) I found expectations for English Language Arts and Mathematics; will there be a presentation and expectations for Music, Art, Band, Phys Educ and Technology?

4) The presentation often refers to "ALL" high school students. Does this mean that every student's activities will be documented and tracked for on-going learning? I do not mean Report Cards, or MEAP Tests. It is a known fact that there are thousands of students who can't read, how will they be brought up to speed to include them in the "ALL" category?

5) It states in the presentation "Revise and extend the current Michigan Curriculum Framework High School Standards and Benchmarks." I like this statement, does it mean that more Standardization will take place and reduce the wide range of variation that currently exists between school districts and school to school within the same district? My point is many school districts still use the Carnegie Unit method of counting credits and other non-standard practices; will the new expectations change this situation and drive standardization? Who will monitor and When will this be done? All improvement efforts must begin and end with standardization.

6) The presentation also says, "Aligned with national standards and recommendations." So does this mean we will be aligning with National and Michigan Standards (Question # 5)? I really need to see the plan that explains the How's?

7) Rigor and Relevance "Master content knowledge" does this mean the current standard GPA of 1.5 or 1.6 will still be accepted for Graduation? Need much more information on this topic.

8) I like the slide that says, "Make connections between what they read, hear, and learn in class and the world around them, develop leadership qualities." I hope this means that the education society will partner with the business community to help provide this type of expertise. I"m sorry but most teachers do not have these skills. For many of them the only time they have left their hometowns or worked in a business is when they attended college. The state needs to tighten its qualifications and certifications for these skills.

9) High School Math - Need separate topic on Variation (common & special cause).

10) Transformational Thinking - "Systems Thinking" should be included in order for the students to understand life's interdependencies.
11) Every high-school student in the state take at least one online course before receiving a diploma. I have written about this type of learning in the past. I am not a big fan of the present way it is being used (easier, cheaper, faster, more convenient). Hey, that sounds too good to be true - IT IS! However, I do realize that in order for Global Learning to take place we are in the early stages of this type of learning. I just hate so many of the institituions of higher learning using it as a Marketing tool to get a quicker degree. Quicker does NOT equal Better in this scenario.

12) Your Timeline states that a "Web/Field Review" will be taking place in Mid-January 2006, will you be providing the details, locations and results of these reviews. What Department will be leading the reviews?

Additional information at State Board of Educ - Improving student outcomes
Update 12/24/05
While doing some additional reading on this topic and talking to a number of school district administrators I received more positive responses for improving the requirements. However, with every response I got nervousness, confidence (we are already there, we need to only add one class) and some serious concerns for removing the average/mean and only having a highly educated student vs. those who don't make it at all.

I recommend we Grandfather the current students enrolled and start the passing and failing in the year 2015. My method of thinking is based on the number of students in the later grades (8-12) who are struggling at current expectations that won't pass regardless of what numbers you throw to the wind.

Click on pictures twice (2) to enlarge

I am NOT saying to do nothing until 2015. I'm saying go through with the current plan. Test it in geographic and economic areas that will provide the best end-to-end data. Hold School Administrators, Teachers and Parents accountable and begin changing this culture now WITHOUT PUNISHING THE CURRENT STUDENTS IN THE SYSTEM. WE CREATED THE SYSTEM AND THE STUDENT SHOULD NOT SUFFER FOR "ME" TYPE LEADERSHIP THAT CREATED THE OLD AND CURRENT SYSTEMS. There is no way with the current system in place to reach the stretch expectations as stated by Mr. Flannagan. The big three shown around my triangle below must be equally addressed. Failure in one area drives poor learning. Blaming one group (teachers vs. parents vs. administrators vs. teachers) is idiotic and bribing kids (awards) to go to college and high school is just plain lame!

Please realize our current system is flawed (throwing more money at the problems will not fix them) . By continously adding all of these so-called special committees and departmental fixes without knowing how they cause variation to the current system will only make it worse. Start tracking current students entering school. Do not track/measure any other item unless it aligns with the success of the student.

Current MEAP and other type tests take snapshots (stand alone data) of student progress in selected years rather than tracking student progress (both negative & positive) over time. If you don’t track students over time (trending data), you can’t find out why one student has a higher score than another. Single-year test scores mostly reflect student quality, not school quality. A student with above average test scores and report grades is often a good student (predictable in some cases). It takes a student whose test scores are rising/reducing over trending time (on-going movie) to prove that the school is good or bad. Equally as important is the data and information that can be obtained to replicate behavior or change for the better.

Try to remove politicians and "ME" type leaders who have other agendas rather than the one at hand. They know the current proposals will take time and they will not back any major change that won't bring them immediate success. We need one consistent leader to help drive improvements. It can't be a person appointed by a governor that changes each election, nor can it be a person who is politically backed or seeks a higher position. We need a genuine leader who cares, who can make decisions and who is not afraid of change. Most of all this person can not be intimidated by politician or union officials.

update 2/12/06

I saw the following quotes in Sunday's (2/12/06) Detroit News about "Educating our Kids" by Christine Macdonald. Tough Classes scare students away"

Students are finishing with Mickey Mouse credits," said professor Sharif Shakrani (Professor Shakrani Profile, acting co-director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University. "If these are watered down, 10 years from now we will be where we are now."

Professor Shakrani argues Michigan has had low expectations for many students for too long and that there is no reason all can't achieve. "Can anybody prove to me that these students can't learn these things?" he said. "We aren't asking them to learn rocket science."

qualityg says ... you have got to be kidding! Professor Shakrani Sharif Shakrani is a professor of measurement and quantitative methods. His areas of expertise include Assessment and Testing
Measurement and Testing and Quantitative Research Methods.

Perhaps he should take a class on "systems thinking" (systems thinking) and behavioral management.

By "WHAT" method do you make the claim. "WHO" are "these students" you refer to in your quote? Show me the figures of your research. Using the word "all" means everybody.

Perhaps we have low expectations and if we don't change our credit system it will be the same in 10 years, but there is a large segment of student (grades 8 - 12) that are too far along in a broken system that will suffer. We need to have a transition (as I stated above) that will provide the best opportunity for all students.

One more thing Professor, can you explain to me why Michigan State's Math Department is under review? Perhaps you should invite Mickey Mouse to review your department.

I have my facts for my claims, do you have yours?

updated 2/16/06
EPIC-MRA is a full service firm located in Lansing Michigan with expertise in public opinion research and analysis conducted a survey on the requirements topic in January of this year. Below is the link to the survey.

qualityg says ... there seems to be a disparity as to what parents want for their children than what the Michigan Department of Education feels the students need to be successful.

If you look at my educational triangle above (see update 12/24/05) you can see the principals (admin, teachers and parents) are in disagreement according to the survey. Until there is a balance struck over these critical issues it won't matter how high you raise the standards or requirements they won't be accomplished. That goes for additional dollars too! If there is no discipline and no self-esteem present in each student it won't matter what requirements you set as standards.

Remember when the auto companies believed they knew what kind of cars we should drive and did not listen to the customer, well ... the Japanese did and they have struck a balance with the American consumer.

The arrogance and ignornace of American Leadership in business and education has led to these problems. They own the system!

Updated 4/1/06

NOTE: I am not against tougher standards. I am againt programs that DO NOT look at the situation in a systems thinking manner where one solution will have negative effects on the whole. I still hold true to my questions and concerns stated above (yet to be answered). And, I have more...

New curriculum will change Michigan's fate
Governor, lawmakers, school board deserve credit
Below are some headlines and statements from the past few days.
My comments will be in this color.

The new curriculum will require students to take more rigorous academic courses, with a heavy emphasis on math and science -- the skills most valued by the new knowledge economy.

qualityg says ... will someone please define for me the "new knowlege economy." If we can believe in the Pareto concept that might say 20% of the students are "B" students and above and 80% are average or below what will happen to the 80% and below? If they are at this level now, how will having tougher requirements move them into the 20%?

Students will benefit from tougher standards - Mike Boulus executive director for the Presidents' Council, State Universities of Michigan said " The core curriculum will put pressure on school districts "to hold to it when their feet are to the fire in a few years and little Johnny can't graduate."

qualityg says ... this reads like an arrogant statement to me by one of the above 20%s who think they have all the answers without answering any questions. Looks like little mikey blames the schools for this problem. Little mikey boo boo should go sit by the fire himself and look into the flames and keep saying " I have a big title so it doesn't matter if I sound like a fool."

State Senator Wayne Kuipers said "I've talked to companies who said they decided not to come to Michigan because we don't take education seriously."

qualityg says ... Senator Kuipers, I have heard/read you say many times that you have talked to these companies. How about naming these companies? I would feel better knowing what companies feel this way. Perhaps I don't like their products or services and won't purchase them anymore. Oh yeah, by what measure or methods do they have to make that statement. Geez, I hope this just isn't some jackass political frightening tactic.

Schools get more dollars but they keep cutting staff and programs (specials and vocational = less electives).

qualityg says ... this is one statement that should send shivers down the back of those second rate teachers who tyeach second rate classes. Companies don't want your kind of students (see above) or your kind of talents. Afterall, when it comes to cutting subjects your talents (names for second tier classess) really don't matter because some companies told Senator Kuipers that some companies said we don't take our education seriously. Maybe they are right, first answer my question --> How many times do the tier one teachers (so-called core subjects) threaten their students that they can't go to music , gym or art if they don't finish doing their spelling words or lab page in math?

more from qualityg ... I write and talk about systems thinking and the fact that too many decisions (as well intended as they think) are made without thinking about the whole and the effect decisions can have on other critical areas of the educational system.

For example I am going to concentrate on just one other piece of our educational system that may be impacted negatively by the tougher curriculum - HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS.

Source: The Detroit News, "Dropouts go back to school," Sept. 22, 2005

According to The News, DPS graduates less than 50 percent of its students in four years. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 people between the ages of 16 and 24 in Michigan who are not in school and do not have a diploma, The News reported. DPS expects to lose 10,000 students this year.

Source: Tom Watkins, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Michigan Department of Education
March 12, 2004

School Characteristics of students who drop out or are pushed out of school include:
Unemployment, underemployment, constant lay-offs
Embarrassment due to the inability to
read or do basic math
Low wages
Time in jail or prison.

Michigan has a law that makes it legal for a child to drop out, or be pushed out, of school at the age of 16. Most 16-year-olds do not have the life skills or knowledge they require to prosper in a complex, global economy.

I call this law state sponsored stupidity, at best, and institutionalized racism at worst. For that reason, I have called for a change in the legal dropout age to 18, as well as for programs to meet the needs of these students. Our current law disproportionately impacts students of color. If dropout rates were at the epidemic proportions in our white, middle class communities, there would be a collective cry for a cure.

Source: BLS

In 2005, over 400,000 students were high school dropouts according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Every student who drops out represents a loss of at least $6,700 (estimate) to the school district.

High schools with the worst promoting power (percentage of freshman who are still senior 4 years later) are concentrated in a sub-set of states. Nearly 80% of the nation’s high schools that produce the highest number of dropouts can be found in just 15 states (Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas).

qualityg says ... Now, where in the new curriculum does it provide an answer to the high school dropout problem. If you look at what Tom Watkins stated above there is no way this will help the problem, in fact it will become much worse.

Questions for Governor Granholm, little mikey bours and other lawmakers

What type of measures will you be implementing to know if these curriculum changes will have a positive affect?

I don't mean quality (end, after the fact measures) measures like pass/fail, or dropout rate increase or decrease. I mean Process Measures that will inform the public right away if there is a problem. I am not going to explain or provide examples of these measures because iy you don't know this will be sure to be just another "quick" educational fix at the expense of our children.

p/s - please don't tell me how you are going to raise the legal dropout age to 18. Dropout figures are like unemployment stats, once you fall off the rolls you are no longer counted. How mant dropouts are younger than 16? Do you believe rasing the age to 18 will solve this problem?

A few other pieces that are not addressed - Teacher Effectiveness, Cost to Implement, Class Size, One size does not fit all. Oh yeah, where are the Minority Leaders? Do you not think this will have a major effect on minority children?

Do no believe them when they tell you all this is in the plan, or these issues will be addressed over the next five years (2011). Like qg says ... What does not get planned and not measured does not get done.

Updated 4/11/06


I’m still perplexed about the fact that not many people or organizations are looking more closely into the passing of higher high school standadrs as if students grades will all of a sudden raise with the bar.

Doesn’t anyone care if we have enough qualified teachers to teach the advanced courses? No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires all teachers to become highly qualified.

In order for a teacher to become highly qualified under NCLB, they must obtain full State certification or licensure, possess at least a bachelors degree, and demonstrate competency in the subjects they are teaching. The demonstration of subject matter competency can be accomplished through three means, passage on a test of the subject, a college major in the subject, or for veteran teachers, the completion of a State defined peer review process called HOUSSE (High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation).

My question is since the NCLB is now conducting hearings and gathering statements to see if what they have called standards actually work and are schools and teachers getting better?

Please, someone explain to me why no process measures were implemented with NCLB. Their teacher highly qualified program is suspect and yet lawmakers want to raise the standards. Again the children will suffer, and when someone’s child does not graduate all hell will break out.

We all know that a qualified teacher is worth their weight in gold, so are ace mechanics, great plumbers and reliable and efficient handymen. The problem is there never is enough of these folks to go around.

Regrettably there are too many school districts that lack the expertise to keep qualified teachers; instead they ask much of their existing teachers. Guess what? This risks the level of quality education for many students, especially special education, disadvantaged and minority children.

Unfortunately, teachers who, often through no fault of their own, will not have the required knowledge, skills and experience to help teach too many of our school children children reach and obtain the new higher standard

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Misc - Site is 1 year old - Thank You

Thanks to the 15,000 + who visited my blog pages over the past year.

I appreciate your thoughts and comments (even the bad ones).