In Indiana, if the 180-day mandatory school year wasn’t bad enough, now we have these “standards” (targets) for the federal No Child Left Behind Program. Last year 65.7% had to pass the test and the new target for this year is 72.6%. This increase in the target has made in the best schools in Indiana “fail” in the eyes of this federal program. All this foolishness achieves nothing.
The school systems are performing the best their systems are capable of achieving. Let me give you an example. I shoot around 80 when I play golf. My system allows me to shoot in a range between 75 and 85 with an average of 80. This is what I am capable of achieving without changes to the system. To have someone tell me to shoot 72 (on average) requires a change to my system (swing, short game, etc.). Just setting the target does not change method. Our school systems need to change method to achieve new heights . . . a new target without method achieves nothing.
Worse these targets become the defacto purpose of the school systems when the real purpose should be to find new methods to educate our children. Instead, this defacto purpose urges schools to meet the target. The targets will (and have) promote cheating and manipulation in the school system that distracts them from changing method and blurring the schools purpose. These are old methods born from scientific management theory from the late 1800s.
Let’s look at the waste already being created. My son goes to Hamilton Southeastern and we have already received a letter from the principal explaining why they didn’t pass the new standard target. I don’t care the reason and what a waste of time and resources for the principal to have to take to to explain. He needs to be finding better methods. Targets are creating waste in letters of explanations (time to write), and mailings (money).
Our school systems are badly in need of better methods, not targets. Our country and state need to focus developing these new methods and gaining knowledge. I urge Dr. Bennett to find new thinking as targets and standards are ancient ways and cause intolerable waste.
Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public). He is focused on exposing the problems of command and control management and the termination of bad service through application of new thinking . . . systems thinking. Download free Understanding Your Organization as a System and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbitt.Share This: