Sunday, April 29, 2012

They do NOT know how!

How can worker do his/her job when they are not enabled with the appropriate tools to do the job correctly? I’m not just talking about your day to day worker; I’m talking about school teachers.

School administrators in many cases are as clueless (they do NOT know how) as most business execs when it comes to non-value added work. Or maybe they just don’t have the time or will not admit they don’t know how to do something or they are just incompetent. Perhaps they just want a job and go home because they want to make it to retirement without change and stress regardless how many students go grade to grade without being given a chance.

Schools like every other industry must find ways to cut cost and trim budgets. Instead of doing a complete feasibility and systemic process check of current work efforts of what is actually being done someone in authority makes decisions that look good on paper but have long lasting dangerous effects on the outcome results (our students). How about - taking away benefits, that is easy, everyone is doing it so lets be fashionable. Or, rather than have a systemic balance of new, and experienced teachers/workers, lets get rid of the experienced ones and pay the new ones base rate. Why? Because so many people are out of work and the surplus of teachers make it a sellers market (that means they can do what they want).

Here is an actual example: Copy Paper and Printer Toner are coveted like precious metals. Supply cabinets are run like Fort Knox and the basics like pencils, folders, erasers and staples must be guarded like the missiles at NORAD.
How about schools that have rooms of computers that go unused and yet other schools that are still using ditto sheets for learning. I would say that is non-value added (especially when the system is so slow it takes 45 seconds per click to go from page to page).

The best part is when the educational leaders of nothing (State Officials) send in those so-called financial/accounting experts who are told to improve the bottom line in a hurry. It's easy to take away the obvious but it takes talent and expertise with application of knowledge to remove non-value work from administrators or a staff department in the education setting.

Just look at your school board offices and see how many people work there are still pushing papers instead of automating and removing work that does not bring value to students, parents or teachers. I wonder why they don't. It's because they do NOT know how.

They hide behind non-value added work and make excuses how busy they are day in and day out and worse yet their administrative bosses believe them because they are afraid of confrontation and make excuses how bust they are handling problems. Most of the problems are a result of taking away the enablement, empowerment and tools of the teachers (workers) to do their jobs. No wonder you have problems within the process (classroom) and results (parents). They do NOT know how to empower and enable workers.

Educational Leaders have no idea what their staff do on a given day let alone a week or month, most don't even have tangible objectives except for the "scheduled" observations that do no more good than Management By Objectives (MBO) or Annual Goals that are written by the worker (boss request) and then turned in to their boss for approval. As your self a question. If your guidance counselor a Dear Abby or someone who is preparing your students for the next level of education and career goals (Career and College Readiness)? Why do they not meet with parents and students and train them on the high school to college process? Because they do NOT know how.

Many people outside of education want to establish pay plans for teachers based on accountability and test scores. OK, I can some what understand that from people who do not understand what the hell they are talking about but when government leaders (oh yeah they don't know either) jump on the band wagon it can get very scary. After all, they have shown they can run a system (HA)! They do know how!!

I would like to know who owns the educational system? Not only from the top down but in each school district? It is not the teachers. Administrators (Management) own the system - it is their responsibility to manage it and set the standards and parameters for improvement and to measure the process and quality indicators. Why don't they do this? Because they do NOT know how?

Perhaps following a methodology like my dream mentor process will help:

Double Click on Pic to Enlarge for Clarity

Friday, April 27, 2012

If you let them go, why do you bring them back?

I just don’t get it. For years many organizations have been letting people go and then returning them as contract employees. In the recent years educational (K-12) schools have been doing the same. In fact many people make more money this way than they did when working as a full time employee.

One of the main reasons this is done is financial and it helps the company or school to save on paying benefits and pensions. This makes sense when the employee is valuable and continues to add value with their pride of workmanship.

However, this post is about the employees that are forced in to early retirement or let go and then brought back in as temporary or part-time employees. This group of employees is less than desirable for many reasons like an inability to change, poor work ethic and an attitude that destroys moral and cohesiveness.

It’s also about leaders who remove people from a position of authority or leadership and move them in to a new role instead of letting them go to start fresh somewhere else. I have experienced more times that not the employee being reassigned for being a poor worker is left to wallow in resentment, bitterness and pity for all to see, hear and to deal with for a long time that ultimately gets worse as time goes by for all workers involved. New employees get trained by some of these people and end up just as bad as the person that was replaced.

Sometimes change is needed to clean up a polluted lake. The lake will stay polluted as long as those in charge refuse to believe it is polluted or won’t realize they are the ones polluting the lake with their decisions like the ones stated above.

So instead of creating a fresh clean lake and removing the waste upfront from the environment many organizations and educational institutions create a new lake and hope everyone will start keeping it clean.

The point is this, it’s a just a matter of time before the new clean lake becomes as polluted as the old because those in position of authority will not confront situations and make the tough decisions that are required for improvements to take place.

Our education system has started so many lakes but they have no filters or decision makers that will accept the current ways of leading and doing things will end in the same polluted manner over and over again.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

United States Quality Movement has been trending downward ever since Dr. Deming died.

There is no voice in the United States today that carries the message of the Demise of the American Management System - especially has to how it relates to education.

Many whispers in many different camps but all in different directions for their own purposes.

While I attended a conference earlier this year a couple of speakers who presented told me at lunch they felt a letdown by attending the Deming Conference. They were expecting a much wider audience and were hoping to find someone who was carrying Dr. Deming's torch and fighting the good fight challenging conventional wisdom with a strong aim towards the improvement of the American economy.

I told them there needs to be a new leader that takes all the whispers of Dr. Deming teachings along with new teachings to create a strong wind blowing in the same direction for lasting change to take place.

Many workers are stuck on a  raft drifting, splashing, crashing and fighting the rapids on what I call the "River of NO Return."

They are at the mercy of the river with no paddles, rudder or leader that knows where they are headed. Ultimately - they will crash over the waterfall. Our education system is on the River of No Return and will crash as ranking, rating and setting up incentive pay for teachers continues to gain momentum.  It is almost impossible to to make overall effective system changes from being inside the company (on the raft). You need someone from the outside (Bank of the river) that can see the system offering solutions that you can not see because you are too deep within the organization. The person on the Bank of the river (outside) can see  downriver where you can not and offer direction and knowledge. It is still the people on the raft or inside the organization that must make the changes and that can only happen if they are enabled wit the proper tolls and knowledge to continually improve.

Oh well, I guess it would be OK if you were on the raft with Marilyn!!

Monday, April 09, 2012

President Obama Backs Teacher Merit Pay

President Barack Obama called for tying teachers' pay to students' performance and expanding innovative charter schools Tuesday, embracing ideas that have provoked hostility from members of teachers unions.

quailtyg says... I hope this is true because if our leader who is the boss of the country's education leader - Secretary Arne Duncan then the


Wise up people - Merit System, Pay, Incentive , Ranking - whatever you want to call it will put you out of business!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Did ACT Dummy-Down The Test ?

I work with students from many different schools and the ACT Test Scores for the past two years seem to have risen per student by 2-3 points.

I am hoping students are preparing better and are now realizing the benefits of a good ACT and GPA when it comes to College Merit Awards.

If they have dummied-down the test; is the SAT far behind?

Will Colleges remove their merit awards or in defense of their funds just raise their standards thus making a separation between scoring categories to those who are 27 and above are winners and those below 27 are losers. Thus we continue to create competition in education instead of cooperation.

Perhaps that is in line with the class structure today when it comes to income levels - the middle class is slipping away. In fact, the middle has already slipped away in politics, race, religion ...