Dumb and Dumberer

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 21st, 2011 2 Comments

How bad is your ‘education system’?

Well, the public education system is an embarrassment and disaster, largely thanks to the teachers’ union’s determined efforts at blocking any and all accountability, and liberal courts’ assistance in doing so.

A while back, a California court  threatened to force the state to scrap an exit testing program for high school students. Students were given six attempts during the year to pass a test demonstrating only 8th grade math and 10th grade English competency, but thousands of seniors flunked it.

Told they’d be denied diplomas, they hired a lawyer, sued, and not only has a judge ordered their unearned, undeserved diplomas issued, he may toss testing altogether.

In three states I know of, high school teachers have flunked high school math and history tests. Teacher competency testing has been blocked.

In Colorado, a high school geography teacher was outed for haranguing students with radical leftists political views rather than teaching his curriculum – revealing of zero monitoring or enforcement of standardized curriculum anywhere in the system.

None of this is a matter of inadequate funding. It is all product of inadequate standards, no enforcement of standards, no accountability for student or teacher.

There are three parts to the management success triangle I’ve long taught: Leadership, Management and Supervision (Enforcement). Triangle collapses if any side missing, like the Supervision side.

So, how’s your education system?

If you have staff and install them in jobs absent standards and training and supervisory enforcement for adherence to the standards, your system sucks too. If there is a script for handling phone calls or making sales presentations, for example, it must be written and charted; there must be training reinforced by role-playing and rehearsal; then there must be enforcement by spot-checking and mystery-shopping. Without the last part, skip the first part; it’s worthless.

I talked the other day with a franchisor’s training director, pleased that he has nearly doubled the franchisees’ sales by getting them to do only one of four things being taught, but frustrated the other three aren’t happening. When I discovered there was no Supervision/Enforcement, I said it was a miracle one was being used.

If you have customers, clients or patients you teach how to use what you sell, and you have reason to care about their results, the exact same triangle applies. I’ve had three different chiropractors give me a page of exercises to do at home. The only one who actually got me to do any of the exercises made me demonstrate that I knew how to do them in the office. Simple: don’t expect what you don’t enforce.

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    2 Responses

    1. Shocking and saddening to think that there are so many in our education system, from bottom to top, who would shirk their responsibility to the students – setting them up for a lifetime of struggle so they could have the “easy button” paycheck.
      How frustrating for the majority of good and responsible teachers.
      Instead of learning their ABC’s, the false lesson those poor kids learn is that you can slack your way through and you’ll be given your due. No wonder it’s so hard to find good, self-sufficient, self-motivated workers.
      I love that last comment: Don’t expect what you don’t enforce.

    2. Waiting for Superman really opened my eyes. The US education system is in shambles. Wisconsin has it right banning unions. However, due to the left leaning of mainstream media I’m sure it will not spread to the rest of the country. Although I have heard of a similar initiative on the table in Ohio. I hope it succeeds. Teacher’s unions are destroying our country slowly.

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