A FREQUENT DECISION OF INEXPERIENCED LEADERSHIP: "IF IT DOESN'T WORK, ADD MORE ADMINISTRATORS AND THEIR STAFF TO CENTRAL MANAGEMENT!"
Students increased only 13% between 1995 and 2014. ADMINISTRATORS increased a whopping 164%. This is a greater than 12 times or 1200% increase from 13% to 164%. With all that increase in administrators, the actual increase of employees is greater because administrators are managers who have other people working for them, typically 8-15. You do not just add a bunch of management people under any circumstance. THE MOST IMPORTANT OUTCOME FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR INCREASE IS that the ACT achievement stayed low, setting an all time low record in 2013 with an average ACT score of 20.2. WHAT HAVE ALL THOSE ADMINISTRATORS ACCOMPLISHED OVER THE YEARS? NOTHING TO INCREASE THE ACT SCORE. WHY ARE WE KEEPING THEIR NUMBERS HIGH? MOST HIGH SCHOOLS' ACT SCORES DECLINED 2004-2014, A FEW WENT UP BUT INSIGNIFICANTLY if one looks at the individual high school trends in the graph below.
The ratio of supervisory people to employees normally changes very little over time in order to operate efficiently. There can be no logical reason for a 1200% increase above the increase in students in supervisors/administrators OVER ANY PERIOD OF TIME unless someone is "building a Kingdom". If criticized, titles can be changed by the superintendent to create the impression of fewer administrators. But the total central staff numbers and salaries are not so easy to hide.
With such a high administrator increase (1200%) over the increase in students, how could it be possible for Central Administration NOT to be bloated?
Today in 2014, more and more foreign students with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in science and engineering from American universities are returning home because the opportunities there are better. In talking to graduate school professors in our universities one finds that before 2005, foreign students who were the best performers aspired to get a job in the USA and stayed. This made-up for the shortfall in American students with advanced degrees in science and engineering. That has been changing. Since 2005, more and more American students come out of our high schools poorly trained and unmotivated. They do not work hard and are unprepared to do college-level work. Look for the ACT "UNREADINESS" and how it is calculated below under RESULTS.
The above graph in a Cato Institute study shows that since 1970, US education spending per student skyrocketed, but the education results went nowhere as many other countries passed us SPENDING LESS MONEY PER STUDENT. US teacher training and the way we teach students also has not changed for at least a hundred years, as other countries developed better teaching and management methodologies in education. Not one of our state or federal leaders did anything about raising test results and especially the national ACT scores since it became available. As a result, according to the World Economic Forum, 47 nations of 148 passed us in high school level performance, yet we spend more money per student than 42 of the top 47. According to OECD-PISA, 35 countries of 65 passed us.
Massachusetts' students rank 1st in the US in math. Hong Kong's students rank among the top 5 in the world. The US is 36th, a new low record in math in 2013 (OECD-PISA tests of 65 countries). The best in our country do not come CLOSE to matching even the top 20 in the world. 87% of the questions on the Hong Kong test require a higher level of thinking and knowledge. Only 6% of questions on the Massachusetts test are on the same level. These figures express how woefully behind we are (http://iadvocateforkids.org/PTA/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/CCSShandout4pg-FINAL.pdf, Page 3). Our example, Tennessee is worse than Massachusetts. The curriculum to get a high school diploma is more rigorous in the top 20 countries than ours. In most of them the curriculum defines what each course is to achieve by year end and the teachers decide individually how they will teach and in what sequence to achieve the curriculum requirement.
Jobs in the future will require a more educated workforce. Instead, we are and have been developing less-educated people, more and more students who are unmotivated, and unable to learn a job after high school. Between 2008 and 2014, this figure averaged above 80% of those students who enter Knox County, TN high schools in 9th grade. As if those weren't bad enough, Tennessee's statewide results are even worse at 89%.
Our leaders talk about job creation a lot, but no employer will hire anyone unqualified and insufficiently educated for any job. No employer will offer a job unless the candidate has a job history with good references, education and experience to guarantee that such a potential employee will be able to do an excellent job. Job openings do exist. Well enough educated potential employees need to exist FIRST before an employer can offer a job. They do not exist in sufficient numbers thanks to the poor results our public elementary and high schools are delivering - with very few exceptions. We are certainly spending enough money on them. The 80% of 9th graders who leave high school are NOT ready for other than minimum wage jobs. Unfortunately many have a bad attitude and no motivation to deliver an honest days work. Too many feel unjustly that they have the right to receive more than what they are getting.|
We have 92 million of the former labor force who are not employed in 2013, including those who no longer receive unemployment and therefore they are not on the unemployment records. That is a lot of people. Source: US payroll dropout reports. We have only 145 million employed (http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/laus/us/usadj.htm) from a population of about 340 million. The reason: unqualified students coming out of public high schools with very few exceptions.
We hear from US companies more and more often that they do not value tax and property incentives any more from the states, because the available workforce is poorly educated. State leadership is aware of this everywhere. These companies are looking to expand elsewhere. There is no action taken yet that would improve the only thing that counts: average ACT or SAT scores.
"The only thing necessary for the
triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing!!"
To date, not one person stood up who had the authority to make changes to increase the average ACT scores!! We are ashamed of what our expensive public education is doing. Exceptions are very rare.
"TOTAL CURRENT EXPENDITURES" are what the school system presents in public as its budget before a school year starts. The approved budget for the Knox County School System for 2013 was $420 million. The public never saw in the papers how much they spent after the school year started. What they spent under "TOTAL CURRENT EXPENDITURES" was much higher, $474.9 million and published for the Governor in the 2013 Tennessee Statistical Report by the state education department in 2014. Who approved such overspending? It appears that there is no discipline and oversight associated with the budget to stay within it as the citizens and businesses have to do. What makes it even more disturbing is the fact that the ACT scores, that show what children have learned from grade one to twelve, are so poor that 80-90% of those who entered 9th grade, leave high school unprepared to be employed. The public is simply not informed of this fact, and the school districts can have a PR staff to flood the public with positively sounding news. Source of financial information on spending is www.tn.gov/education/data/doc/asr_1213.pdf, Tables 48 and 49. See other Tables to see details of the totals.
Under a different heading called "GRAND TOTAL OF ALL EXPENDITURES" in the Statistical Report, Knox County Schools spent a whopping $560 million total in 2013, (not $474.9 million as shown in some documents) including capital and interest expenses. But even this is not the total. For example, legal expenses spent on behalf of the school system is included in a different county cost center, and it seems possible that other education-related expenses are hidden elsewhere. WHY THE SECRECY? What other education-related spending is hidden and where? It is impossible to tell how much this education system is actually spending every year, AND ON WHAT.
Our point is that we do not see any reason for not publishing IN OUR NEWSPAPERS the entire amount of dollars this and other counties are spending for the education system.
The education system does not inform the public of the poor performance (e.g., the all time low record in average ACT score in Knox County, Tennessee in 2013). At the same time the US is the fifth highest spender per student in education, which under "maintenance of effort" laws must be (?) maintained, regardless of performance. Knox County, Tennessee spends more money per student than the top twenty highest performing nations, except one, and their cost of living is higher. Education districts appear to have no incentive to investigate how to improve performance. The reason: their objective is not a specific average ACT (or SAT depending on the state) objective to be met along with school level operating plans that measure monthly academic performance objectives and spending vs. budget. School management does not have an objective that forces them to focus on improving average ACT performance while keeping expenses within the approved budget.The poor outcome is not surprising under such circumstances.
80-90% of the students who entered 9th grade are not ready per ACT's definition to be trained for a job or to enter a college or tech school. This is a very poor return on the public's investment, and warrants some thinking about what schools will stay open and will be closed.
More than 30 states cut back education spending since 2008. See http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=4011. Even with such reductions in spending, the US is the fifth largest spender per student among the industrialized countries, with the lowest academic performance among those nations.
There is uncontrolled, significant overspending of the approved budget for more than a decade, possibly back to 1970. Why haven't we done anything to stop it and put a monthly reporting system in place watching spending vs. the approved budget? Why isn't the budget planned out monthly to keep an eye on spending? Look at the chart below. "Current Expenses" are education expenses that do not cover all expenses for education, and this is what the school districts refer to when discussing it in public. For example, they exclude capital and interest expenses like the expenses associated with mortgages and their financing for school property, however, the state's statistical report includes that with the words "Grand Total". Even the state excludes education expenses such as legal expenses, and perhaps other expenses, that are comingled or mixed into total (legal expenses) for the county. For this reason, the spending reported by the school district does not cover all education related expenses. Even the state's report does not, but their representation is closer. The public is unaware of the spending beyond the approved "Current Expenses" budget. As you can see in the chart below, what the school district announces is significantly overspent every single year. Some board members and the superintendent is pushing for more taxes to increase school funding. In view of the management problems, poor performance and funding comparable to the top performing internationals, we need to see the identified problems corrected first along with a more healthy business-like behavior correcting the many management issues with teacher morale on top. Click here for more information on spending.
With such a high administrator increase over the increase in students, how could it be possible for Central Administration not to be bloated? This is not normal practice and it is unnecessary.
A similar concern is that the state does not publish normal operating ratios defined in some key areas to keep central management small. This is a common problem. For example it is important having the ACT score with sufficient growth, and spending vs. budget as the two primary objectives and nothing more. Or limiting the size of central management employees as a percentage of total district employees to a maximum. But define central management employees as those who do not report to or do not have their performance review done by a principal's organization and therefore are under central control. Or checking morale by having an independent confidential body, to whom employees can talk, who would report anonymously the number of and type of problems every six months, and so on. Or reporting annually the employee turnover in the various work areas. Employee turnover is a very expensive thing. It costs an organization 8-16 months of salary to change an employee, depending on the level of the job. The boards and superintendents simply don't know what is wrong and why, because education districts never had to operate with the discipline of a business. The results have been poor for a long time now and can only be poor without such guidelines in place.
Central management employee numbers have been skyrocketing and in 2013, we set an all time low average ACT score record at 20.2. Obviously the increase in administrators did not raise but lowered the results. In addition, too much of the education dollars are not getting to the schools and classrooms. They are spent in central management. When central management grows beyond a certain size, they become too protective of their position and obstructive to the organization in any industry because they must justify their numbers and salaries.
If one wants to use a consultant, hire them from the best performing area in education in the world. There is a conflict of interest in Central Management hiring and paying consultants from whose work they benefit. Let the county hire them with results reporting to the County Mayor and the public, without any contact with the school district to define the scope of the work or to see anything other than the final report. If you hire them from high performers in education like Finland or Singapore, you can increase the probability of the truth in the report. You do not have the superintendent hire a consultant to report where he has to improve, as in the past. Otherwise consulting firms will not be impartial.
The numbers that the superintendent provides for the size of central management are smaller than reality. To find out do not ask for the total employees in central management. Ask under the Freedom Of Information Act or Open Records Act for all employees who are not performance-reviewed by and who do not take direction from the organization under a school principal. In the graph below we see a sampling of the surrounding Tennessee counties including our example Knox County. It is obvious that the poor performance and bloated central management is very common.
How does the superintendent keep the board busy so that the board members never address the poor ACT performance and the excessive spending? This subject is addressed in superintendent training schools. By loading up board meetings with a lot of low level spending approvals, decisions that should be made on a lower level, if an approved monthly operating plan and expense budget exists. By involving the board in low level decisions, the superintendent immunizes himself from blame. Superintendents and managers are highly paid to make the right decisions independently. Just think! What is the point in having supervisors, managers and administrators, if they are not allowed or are incapable of making important decisions for the better and taking action independently and immediately in their area of responsibility. Or what if the superintendent gets involved and changes their decisions? How efficient can such an organization become? And how demoralizing is that for a supervisory employee? The ultimate is to pass to the board issues for decision that should be made below the superintendents level. That is what is happening. The job descriptions of supervisory personnel should clearly identify the areas where they do make decisions independently. If they cannot do that, then change them. This is why measurable objectives, that are THE key indicator of the organization's success, like an average ACT score, are so important at the board and superintendent level, and this is why all objectives at all levels must relate to it to be in harmony to achieve the overall ACT objective.
WE BETTER WAKE UP! The board of education hires a superintendent who is to deliver better results. They never picked a superintendent under whom the ACT scores improved to a point where HALF OF THOSE leaving high school are actually ready per ACT. The board does not want to let the superintendent go if he/she produces poor results, because they picked him and they will look bad. So they ignore the poor results. In the mean time we waste millions of hard-earned tax payer dollars, we dumb down thousands of children and there is no oversight above the board to correct the problem.
80% of those who enter 9th grade leave our high schools on average not being prepared for job training, or to get into a college or tech school. Did boards of education in Knox County, Tennessee raise the ACT results 2-3 points to reduce this enormous failure rate?! They never did and neither did they have an objective to achieve such higher ACT scores.
Poor ACT scores and ACT readiness percentage of regular diplomas; excessive spending in areas that do not contribute to ACT achievement are all signs of poor management.|
Teachers or any employees treated without respect, unprofessionally, restricted in their jobs resulting in the poor ACT score results, fooling the public with higher scores from the much weaker state tests, pushing teachers to change test results by changing scores, unemployable high school graduates in large numbers like more than 75% of those with a regular diploma not being ready to be trained for a job, are all signs of poor management. Teachers have very low morale. People with low morale cannot do their best. There are major problems in the classroom that remain unsolved because teachers are given no authority to solve them. Vague unmeasurable objectives on the board and superintendent level, politics replacing real performance and achievement of real objectives like an average ACT or SAT score; covering up of bad news about the important tests because their scores are poor; and publishing only news for the public that sounds positive is actually very damaging. As an end result, such school districts produce the majority of high school graduates WITH A REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, such that 74-90%+ of the students (depending on the state) with a regular diploma are NOT EVEN READY TO BE TRAINED FOR A JOB according to ACT. All of this is created by school districts that are managed very poorly on the elected board and superintendent level. The great majority are like that unfortunately. THEY ARE ACTUALLY CREATING AND RUNNING FAILURE FACTORIES, INSTEAD OF GRADUATES DEVELOPED READY FOR JOBS OR FURTHER EDUCATION. http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2011/12/broads-jim-mcintyre-gets-2-earfuls-from.html.
The needed improvement of our education results depends on how quickly we will recognize both our management and teacher challenges, and act to solve them all at the earliest. When 250 teachers show up at a board meeting, in an autocratically managed school district, that is very significant. In business, if you see a complaint, there are more than ten behind it with the same feelings who did not want to go public. That makes this entire school district's teachers very dissatisfied: http://www.wate.com/story/23897839/knox-county-teachers-voice-opposition-to-new-evaluations.
Fixing our poor education cannot happen without the public being informed of all the truth about education. Public support for changes is very important, and that is why our school districts have substantial numbers of full time professional PR staff on board, some more than we have seen in billion dollar corporations. One could legitimately ask why even one is needed in any school district to develop articles for the media that put the school district into a better light than what the entire truth really would about the school district's performance. There is much more information of importance about teachers: click here.
What do three high performing countries do to retain teachers long term? The chart below explains. See also What brings success in other countries?
Peter Drucker, 1909-2005, Father of 21st Century Management By Objectives
Peter Drucker, 1909-2005, Father of 21st Century Management By Objectives
Why do we need to be competitive worldwide with high school performance? Why not just within the USA? Why should we compare our high school performance with other nations?|
With airplanes, cars, television sets and radios the world became smaller, and nations became interdependent among each other because the entire world became everyone's market. We see imported products everywhere, don't we? Our companies want to sell their products and services internationally. There is a huge market out there. The best products for the money that customers liked the most sold well. They were American products through the 50's and the 60's. A few decades later, even the larger companies like an aircraft manufacturer may buy the jet engines in England or in the USA, have the wings manufactured elsewhere, various other parts would be purchased at hundreds of different international companies with final assembly in the USA. We stopped making electronics, televisions, large construction machines and other products because foreign suppliers could make them more innovative, less expensive and more reliable. All because the better trained workforce in other countries could create better, more reliable and less expensive products.
Why don't we purchase only US-made products? Because people or companies will always buy the products that they like. Because the desired quality for the price was no longer available from American companies. Successful companies require and have a well educated workforce, from the low end jobs to the highest, from a good high school education to a PhD in the specific fields that the employer needs. That is a basic requirement for the ability to create winning products which we did well until about the 70's. Then we started seeing a lot of imported products that were preferred by the American customer from the inexpensive to the very expensive. Today we lost entire industries. Look at what happened to the TV industry, electronics and others.
The quality of the product depends on the quality of the workforce, which then depends on the quality of education that the public schools do for the majority through high school. If the American high schools are not producing better educated students than foreign countries, the companies that hire them will be handicapped. The relationship between the quality of high school graduates and the competitiveness of the products of the companies that hire them, clearly shows that our high school school systems are in competition with other countries' high school systems. We are indirectly competing on the high school level with all countries. Their products are winning unfortunately. We dropped to 36th internationally in math in 2014, a new low record in the testing of 15 year olds (OECD PISA test published 2013 covering 65 nations). That is very bad news.
By law, the elected boards of education get at least as much money each year as in the previous year and can spend it any way they please - regardless of performance. Boards to date (before 2014) did not establish any objectives and operating plans to achieve them in order to raise the average ACT scores, and assumed that all that can be done will be done by the superintendents they have hired. Such avoidance of one's responsibility in a position of trust always results in poor outcomes. The results shown above are terrifying. However, more than 30 states managed to cut back education spending since 2008. Their academic results did not go down. See http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=4011.|
Even with such reductions in spending, the US is the fifth largest spender per student among the industrialized countries in 2013, with the lowest academic performance among those nations. Our own education spending increases did not result in ACT score increases, and it is the ACT results that define readiness for work or higher learning. It is fair to say that the constant request for more money by the board is unjustified in view of the poor results.
The elected school boards and superintendents write their own objectives at the beginning of a school year, always vague or insignificant or unmeasurable. At year end they write up their own performance evaluation against the objectives THEY specified (board approved) and give themselves an excellent performance review. Such a practice never leads to good results. Their income and budget are guaranteed by law to be at least the same as what they received in the prior year. There is no incentive to perform to increase average ACT scores. There is a bloated central management organization with a large PR group to generate only good news to make the board and superintendent look better. |
The excessive spending in the chart above covers all education related expenses that the state reports in their statistical reports annually, some of which the school district does not report to the public. There are other education district expenses that even the state figure does not show. For example, the school district's legal expenses are such. One wonders what other education expenses are hidden. TO FIND OUT, ONLY A FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE ENTIRE COUNTY WOULD SHOW SUCH EXPENSES. A FORENSIC AUDIT IS RESISTED FORCEFULLY BY THE EDUCATION DISTRICT. ONE WONDERS WHY. A forensic audit is more expensive than a normal audit. However, compared to the waste, it costs less, and it would have a disciplining impact on the careless spending.
We overspend the approved education budget by 28-38% every year. We spent $560 million in this school district alone in 2013. We are paying interest on more than half a billion dollars of mortgages including unused school real estate properties. Why don't we sell such properties and use such proceeds to reduce such interest expenses? The superintendent is not responsible for some of this area, and he should be responsible for all education related expenses. Per pupil, spending is higher than most of the top 20 performing countries in the world, and teacher morale, on whom the results depend, is poor. Neither the board of education nor the superintendent did anything that raised teacher morale. A 2-3% increase is considered as a solution, however, money is never the important solution. People get used to additional money fast, and the real problems arise again. In addition, a 2-3% raise is of no significance.
Our education system eagerly established objectives for teachers that are faulty in management practice. However, we do not have an ACT score objective on the board and the superintendent for performance evaluation where it is needed the most - on top. They prepare their own vague unmeasurable objectives and then THEY do their own performance evaluation with board approval. Unbelievable! Doesn't anyone realize on the state level how senseless and self-defeating such practice is from the management perspective? For good reason, a specific measurable objective setting must start on the top with the most important key indicator of success.
The superintendent creates beautiful, 50-75 page "Strategic" Five-Year Plans, with meaningless objectives like what Knox County called 100/90/90/90 for almost a decade. Its details are at http://www.usaedustat.com/1sevenactions.html#100909090. The board of education does not lead their only employee the superintendent. The superintendent leads the board of education. This superintendent never even managed a single school before he was hired for one of the largest school districts, ours. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THERE IS NO ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN IN WRITING THAT DEFINES WHAT MEASURABLE OBJECTIVE EACH MANAGER MUST ACHIEVE EACH MONTH IN EVERY SCHOOL AND CENTRAL MANAGEMENT, TO ACHIEVE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S ACT SCORE OBJECTIVE FOR THE YEAR.
Although they probably exist, I looked for but I have not found a single person on any board of education, state or district, or education department member in any state, who knew how poor our performance really is, understood the ACT readiness figures, knew who the top three high performance countries are in education, and most importantly what they are doing differently that could improve our performance.
We hope that the board and superintendent can explain why their practices and results are acceptable, let alone the best. No wonder our results are so poor. It should be obvious what actions we need to take to correct it. It is not more spending. However, if those who are to take action have no idea what to do, CHANGE THEM. Major changes need to be made, with excellent execution.
School district management doesn't know what top few actions (1-2) to focus on in an excellent manner. The results just keep going down with our schools making more than 80% of the 9th graders unemployable by the time they leave high school. That is a very high failure rate. We waste billions of the public's hard-earned tax dollars. Now the government will provide more of our tax dollars for two years of community college training for those who qualified for a regular high school diploma, with 80% not ready to be trained for a job. The way the public school districts are allowed to operate with the high failure rate is irresponsible by the state. The free two years of college will be helpful, but not enough. We must improve significantly job training readiness in high school to get much more out of the free two-year college program. The program should not just make up for the shortcomings of high school performance.
Our lawmakers are busy with a hundred different projects at any one time. Education is one of them. Some projects are more important than others. WE DO NOT GIVE EDUCATION ENOUGH IMPORTANCE. VERY IMPORTANTLY THE PUBLIC IS NOT BEING INFORMED OF THE POOR RESULTS THAT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS DELIVER. Why have not our lawmakers passed laws FOR DECADES to implement the above mentioned actions to make our secondary schools produce higher ACT scores AS OTHER NATIONS PASSED US? Isn't that the ultimate objective coming out of high school? To get to 80% readiness from the current unreadiness, our high schools today must produce an average ACT score of 24 minimum. This number is slowly increasing because future job requirements will grow even more aggressively than in the past as low end jobs will be automated more aggressively. Our poor high school performance is providing pressure on the robotics industry worldwide to provide an alternative to untrainable young people with the wrong attitude. The first result of cognitive robots will be visible by the end of 2015, targeted at more than 100 professions. We don't just need some actions from our legislators. We need urgent actions by legislators that increase the ACT scores like the action examples we mention above.
Why doesn't the state set operating ratios and standards in the above key areas? If we explained the public the above poor performance and what its results are on our children's lives and our economic future, it would be very helpful in making changes. The school district PR machines are large and well funded, and their stories for the public create the impression that "There is room for improvement, but we are doing well". Why is public education a "CAN'T DO" organization with no action for decades to correct it? The above gives many clues. WE THE PUBLIC DESERVE BETTER FOR OUR MONEY from the governor, legislators, boards of education and superintendents.
IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO REPLACE THE PERSON YOU HIRED WHEN THEY DID NOT DELIVER. YOU HAVE TO KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT WHAT NEEDS TO BE DELIVERED AND HOW TO DO IT, TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PERSON YOU HIRED DELIVERS!
It is the board that is in charge and is responsible for the results under the law. The superintendent, their only employee, is to make sure that the objective set by the board is met. Vague objectives will always be met especially if you do your own performance evaluation - and that is the case unfortunately. If the people in charge are not motivated to increase ACT scores with a specific average ACT score objective, there is no motivation and no results. They get paid just the same. That is what we have.
Why would anyone be motivated to put in the extra effort to correct a poorly performing education system,
For more go to: http://www.usaedustat.com/12013spendingvsperformance.html|
When the results are poor, the money is not getting to the right places.
Our schools in Tennessee produce more than 80% of those students who earned a regular diploma, who are not even ready to be trained for a job according to ACT. In Knox County, Tennessee, the county we use as an example, we set an all time low ACT score record (with superintendent James McIntyre, and board chairs Karen Carson, Lynn Fugate). People who care (and/or don't know what to do) DO NOT DO THIS. Other states are not much better. A few are worse.
As presented above per the Tennessee Education Dept. Statistical Reports, approved budgets are outspent every year by a huge amount, and mean nothing. This is the people's money, the spending beyond approved budget's needs to be investigated. People who care and plan well DO NOT DO THIS. Other states are not much better. A few are worse.
According to Fortune Magazine (http://fortune.com/2014/06/10/most-corrupt-states-in-america/), Tennessee is the third most corrupt state in our country. No wonder we overspend the people's money every year in education and produce the third worst results from the bottom at the same time within the USA. Internationally, we dropped to 36th place in math - that's the bottom of the industrialized countries.
We need a forensic audit to identify exactly where the money went and why it was not getting to the right place in the school district, destroying most of our children's employability, our workforce and our economy as a result.
Proposed programs costing additional tens of millions of dollars in each state by school district management, did not and do not deliver higher act or sat scores. They are the only tests that show the real end of high school results. Could these kinds of ineffective actions be accidental after more than 40 years? No, they cannot and they require uniform statewide control via laws.
We have a unique situation in that US education results are very poor and keep going down compared to the international competition, our workforce is weakening so much that attracting employers with tax incentives no longer works in the lower performing states. If we do not improve significantly, we could end up discouraging all employers who are able to move elsewhere.|
On what basis can anyone condone, and approve (as a county Commissioner or mayor) monies of the people to be spent in hundreds of millions of dollars every year, without requiring that an ACT score objective be met for such monies that is at least 5% higher than the last average ACT score achieved, and that such an objective also be made THE board's and superintendent's performance objective, counting at least 60% of their annual performance evaluation?
Don't we have an implicit responsibility to the public to do so?
Don't we also have an implicit responsibility not to mislead the people whose money we are spending?
Don't we have an implicit responsibility NOT TO USE ONLY the much weaker and meaningless TCAP state scores to call the superintendent a Miracle Maker as a local paper did, while not mentioning the all time low score on the ACT test achieved in 2013, whose results mean a disastrous future for 79% of those children who earned a regular diploma?
What is certain in this world is change. Faster change than before. What is also certain is that some people will be hurt by change and many others will be afraid of change, perhaps made fearful by the people who do not want change and the unknown. BUT HOW CAN ANYONE IGNORE THE FACT THAT 80% OF THE CHILDREN WHO ENTERED 9TH GRADE WILL BE PUT INTO A LOSING SITUATION WITH THE POOR JOB WITH WHICH THEY ARE LEAVING HIGH SCHOOL. WE CANNOT LEAVE SUCH A SYSTEM IN PLACE WITHOUT A MAJOR CHANGE. WE DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE. WE MUST CHANGE OR WE WILL BECOME A THIRD WORLD NATION WITH A TERRIBLE LIFE.
Many of the new Tennessee elementary school standards are working. The NAEP represents high rigor testing every other year and its improved record setting scores are much more significant than the much weaker state test scores called the TCAP.
GRADE IMPROVEMENT sounds positive, but it may or may not be important. The maximum ACT score is 36. As the average ACT score increases, it does not represent a proportional increase in the regular diploma holders' readiness to be ready to be trained for a job. For example, an average ACT score of 21 means that only about 20% of those with a regular diploma will be ready to be trained for a job, and 80% will NOT be ready to be trained for a job. But the situation changes fast once we get the average ACT score above 22. To achieve an 80% readiness for job training or to finish only the first year of college or a technical school those with a regular diploma would need to be close to an average ACT score of 24. Job trainability readiness that it is not something to celebrate. A 0.5-1.0 average ACT increase at the lower numbers do not change job training readiness much. But such a change above an average ACT score of 22-23 brings big improvement in the "readiness" percentage of regular diplomas for job or college training.
Unfortunately our poorly performing school districts make any improvement positive news, sometimes so extreme that a publisher in Knoxville, Tennessee called the superintendent a Miracle Maker for an A or B Tennessee state test result that is absolutely meaningless because it represented less than 30% good answers on a test. The Tennessee state test (TCAP not the NAEP) is too easy in order to produce high grades, but in reality it represents F level performance for a 45-50% score when compared to ACT's measurement for job or college readiness; not an A or B. Under the same superintendent also in 2013 we set an all time low record in the average ACT score at 20.2 that represents only 21% of the regular diplomas being ready for job training or to complete only the first year of college or a tech school; with 79% of those graduates with a regular diploma not being ready. They are minimum wage candidates. But the publisher chose not to mention that, when the ACT score was the more important information. This is what journalism has become in many places. We are presenting that article as an example further down below. The point is that the public is informed only by what appears to be good news, but they are not told about the bad results that really count. One can legitimately wonder why such journalism misrepresents the results coming out of our schools, when we, the public, are paying for it.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA
WE START WITH THEM...|
AND THEN, OUR SCHOOL BOARDS AND SUPERINTENDENTS DO THIS TO MOST OF THEM...ON OUR DIME AS THEY BLAME OTHERS.
PLEASE...JUST LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE WITHIN THIS WEBSITE. IT IS UNBELIEVABLE...BUT THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING AND IT MUST CHANGE.