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:
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