Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pop Quiz

Every year thousands of people get a drivers license.  Every year thousands of people are killed because of mistakes they make while driving.  Everyone of them took a test and passed.  Driver's license testing is a failure. But we keep on testing and giving out licenses.

Every year we hear of pilots that crash their planes, Doctors who remove the wrong leg...accountants who high tail it out of town with someone else's money.  All of them took tests..and the tests..failed to protect us.  But we keep on testing.

There is a point in the planning process where you say...this is where we start.  Sometimes you have the luxury of taking your time to pick the best spot to start...more often the situation dictates where you start. Failure is not dictated by where you start a plan...it is dictated by failing to act swiftly and decisively.

If we wait for the perfect test...or the perfect plan when dealing with the challenges to debacle of public education then nothing will ever get done...there will never be a good place to start...there will never be a perfect plan.

Our tax base is dwindling...property values are in the tank...more people are unemployed and under employed...We have eaten the frosting off of our cake...Our need for action is dictated by the situation.  If we fail to act...we are in grave danger of losing what little edge we have in public education.  We can no longer afford to wait for a perfect plan....the perfect test...we must take action with the best we have..and remain flexible enough to continually improve the process.

Major corporations such as Dell, Microsoft, HP, and others have implemented cost savings while improving internal educational methods.  They have no choice if they wish to remain competitive in an ever changing technical world.

Test design and implementation will cost them millions...as it will within our educational system..it will be money well spent.  Creating goals and milestones to judge and reward success is the American Way. Children  deserve the best.

Public Schools...if there is to remain such a thing...must change with the times. If they do not..only the failures in this nation will be attending.  They will be taught by the teachers who are themselves failures.

The largest public educational system in this country..and as far as I can tell...in the world has been using performance based evaluations of their teachers for decades.  The result has been the best educated employees found anywhere.  They are constantly evaluating their methods and processes.  Changing their training systems on a continual basis to meet the demand of an ever changing world.

In just a few short weeks they take their students from no knowledge to a high level of competence.  They do this in spite of the fact that our public schools only provide them with sub-par matierial.

I myself spent 15 years training kids from High Schools across this nation...I had to deal with long hours...and idiots that couldn't pay attention.  At times I wish I could just say "that guy is too stupid to even put on his pants, and you want me to teach him to carry a gun?"  But I didn't...it was my job to give him every opportunity to succeed.

Their failure was my failure...and I was graded on their performance.  I love a challenge...and that job was certainly that.  Where I work now requires my attention 100 percent of the time...it is fun..challenging..and I am paid based on such a complex formula it boggles the mind...and I LOVE IT.

Turning our educational system around will be expensive in terms of money and emotional distress.  I am sorry that some have chosen a career that is tough.  I guess that is where the term work and job come in. But I for one am not willing to pay for substandard Educators in my Educational system.

P.S.  I hate pop quizzes.

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