Sense + Stability + Structure = Solid Student System
Dr. Deming insisted that 85 to 97 percent of problems in an organization are the responsibility of management I have found this true time and time again in my 36 year career in Process Improvement in Business and Education.
Dr. Deming was ardent about not “blaming” workers for poor quality when so much of it was “a fault of the system.”
Just last week a private school had a week long activity known as ‘Spirit Week.” During this week each day provided a day of dress-up from a school spirit day to decade type dressing to crazy hat day to dressing up like twins or triplets (Dr. Deming would hate this day since many students felt excluded if not asked to dress like someone else.).
Loosely stated rules were applied (Written and Email) to each day and were reminded each day during announcements ( Ever wonder how many students and teachers are really listening at the end of the day – try going to a kindergarten or first grade class and see what it takes to get them ready to go home).
On one of the days a number of girls did not follow the rules and broke some dress code rules. They were initially punished by saying they could not participate in the next day’s activity. This met with outrage, crying and complaining since parents bought clothes and accessories for each of the days. It was later changed to a lunch detention.
Administrators/Teachers (Leaders/Managers) set up the system/rules without strict rules/guidelines variation is expected. Instead of admitting the roll-out of the weeks activities had flaws the students were punished for adult inadequacies.
So again I say - Sense + Stability + Structure = Solid Student System
What is really troubling is the amount of school system/classroom rules that do not have the best interest of the student. Especially if something goes wrong. It is easy to blame those who have no voice in policy or decision making. Like Dr. Deming said another example of “The Demise of the American Management System.” However, In this case it is the Demise of American Educational System.