Jan 212018

School Choice vs. One Size Fits All


School Choice vs. Maintaining an Unchanging, Mediocre Monopoly, that Kinda-Sorta Benefits Some of the Students

School Choice – In a recent La Crosse Tribune, opinion post, Sunday, January, 21, 2018, it was argued that the voucher program was ”unfair”. According to the author it was the primary reason that a district lost $700,000 in revenue to other competing educational entities

Let’s first set the stage with facts (all of my positions are fact based and are supported by a comprehensive website of credible third party experts. Ask and I’ll share it. You are responsible for reading the information. If you disagree with the information, you are responsible for validating your disagreement with third party, credible documentation):

  • Undocumented, unsubstantiated, opinions are not facts, no matter how loudly they are presented, or how often they are shouted by a group of people with common interests
    • Documented, substantiated facts trump opinions, always
    • When folks take a position, usually they have some personal motivation. My personal motivation is to improve a flawed, education system; To measurably advance, relevant, student success, performance improvement outcomes,  for all students
  • The primary reason education exists is to effectively, efficiently, consistently, affordably and relevantly, advance student success, performance improvement outcomes for all students
    • Traditional education habitually and perpetually fails at this
    • We must focus on the forest (the strategic big picture – this is the problem): how to measurably advance relevant, student success, performance improvement outcomes for all students
    • As  the funders and participants  of education we must call out a traditional educators habitual, diversionary, focus on the trees (sub elements of the forest – Since these sub elements are not the core problem, fixing these individual elements will not advance relevant, student success for all students: SUB-ELEMENTS – money, school choice, poverty, parents, student grit, technology. Throwing time and money at these sub items is diversionary, non-strategic strategy. Focusing on these sub-items will delay advanced student success for all students and will maintain a mediocre monopoly for some of the students)
  • The US spends more on education and gets less student success outcomes for all students, when compared to similar developed countries
    • That makes our education system a poor value and in dire need of reform if we wish to remain competitive as a nation
  • The education gap is no small problem
    • The education gap is comprised of students that are failed by a flawed system of teaching:  graduates with no relevant skills, and student drop outs with no relevant skills
    • The direct societal and student consequences of the education gap are: unemployment and underemployment, which directly results in: crime, substance abuse, poverty, violence and incarceration – These are very expensive very unproductive things for individuals and society
  • One size doesn’t fit all
    • Everyone wants a choice of options, everyone
    • Folks choosing to go elsewhere is an indication that the original provider is lacking something, that the new choice offers. The solution is to fix that problem, to keep your students.
    • A desire to eliminate choice, is a desire to maintain a mediocre, educational monopoly, to the direct detriment to society and students
  • Competition is good. Monopolies are bad. Simply read books on economics. They will validate this
    • Competition makes everyone better
    • Monopolies benefit monopolies, to the detriment of the public
  • We look to educators as the experts in education. Educators are employed to empower each and every student with success I don’t think district budgeting is part of their job description).  This is their ‘profession’. This is what we pay them to do
    • Most traditional educators are subject matter experts, not critical knowledge transfer experts, Research experts, nor education reform experts. To be great at their job they need to be all of these things
    • Most traditional educators either don’t understand how to transfer critical knowledge to all students, or don’t engage and/or correctly implement research driven, best practices methodologies that are proven to transfer critical information to all students
  • The issue, here, to debate, is whether school choice is unfair and I guess unfair to whom
    • Note that I have not made the issue the author of the prior article
    • Also, note that she identified herself as did I. Neither of us hid behind some nickname to mask our real identity and to spew hate, not facts
  • Are these issues important to you? Or, don’t you care about them?
    • Remember WE fund schools through federal taxes paid, property taxes paid and referendums passed
    • In addition, we fund the societal consequences of the education gap that traditional education creates and can’t close
    • Is spending more for the same okay with you, or should we be getting more for less, which is possible?
  • We collectively, have two, real, strategic, choices. Yes, just two choices
    • Improve education outcomes, advance, relevant, student success, for all students, in all educational institutions
    • Maintain education mediocrity, for some of the students

School Choice – What’s really unfair and to whom?

That each and every student enrolled in education is not getting a successful educational outcome, as defined above

That students suffer through life by not being empowered by education, with basic life skills

That society funds a flawed education system AND also funds the consequences of the education gap that is directly created by a flawed education system

That traditional educators don’t understand why education exists and that traditional educators, habitually, and perpetually can’t see the forest from the trees

That the real issue of recouping that $700,000 of lost revenue is to improve YOUR  relevant, student success, performance improvement outcomes, for all of your students, not eliminating choice of educational options. That means providing them a better choice of solutions that they are finding somewhere else. Eliminating choice will not make that happen, nor will more money, fixing poverty, empowering parents, focusing solely on student grit, or relying on technology alone. Advancing student success, for all students will

When educators negotiate for proven,  research based, best practices to advance student success outcomes for all students, we will then know that they understand why they are employed and will collectively be focused on why education exists

Also to all of the ‘local’ educators, whose educational referendums passed, that requested more money: How will you document and validate to the funding public and your students that these additional monies will measurably advance relevant, student success, performance improvement outcomes, for all students vs maintenance of the mediocre status quo?

By the by, the research and best practices on how to advance student success for all students, are copiously out there. All you need to do is look. I know how to fix education. I have purposely left that discussion for another time

One Size Fits All?

School Choice; Traditional Educators, Not Understanding Education

Teaching Mediocrity Improved for all Students

Results: Districts, Schools, How is your school doing?

Educationally Innovative; Are these methodologies being used correctly in your school?

RESEARCH – Learning Strategies: Educationally Innovative Pedagogy