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Public Education Today

 

"Know the arena in which you play" - This was the advice of Dr. Terry Early, an adjunct professor at Dowling College and former principal of Oakdale - Bohemia Middle School. It was one of the best pieces of advice I had heard while I was working on my Educational Administration Degree. If you click on the Coliseum, you will see what Bill Gates has to say about public education and teachers.

 

Some of this stings, but it is important to listen to.  This is what we are up against in public education


I am a big picture sort of thinker and learner.  While things are changing in education, we have to be sure that we keep the bigger picture in mind. Yes, things are getting done, however are we getting the results we want?  Be sure to look at the hyperlink behind the picture below. 

  

Be sure to look at all 8 frames on the hyperlink.  Taking the time to look at the bigger picture may save much time, money and energy later on.  Are we making smart choices with our limited time, money and energy?

 

If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. Oh the wonders of photo shop, however it helps create a visual for an important point.  If something is working, then how can we make it even better?  If something is not working, rethink it.


Additionally, I am a student of history.  Therefore, I will start this discussion with

a short piece on Napoleon

(http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/society/c_education.html#napoleon).

After reading the preceeding hyperlink, we are reminded that the more things change,

the more they remain the same.  To me, it is facsinating to read about the educational

issues of Napoleon's day and compare them to issues in education today.

 

Okay, so Lady Gaga is a bit much to throw at you, but I wanted you to see this very innovative link which is a great way review material with today's generation.  There are 53 pieces that these teachers put together.  You can find them on  historyteacher"s channel on You Tube.


How does the United States measure up?

 

When we look at ourselves, as a "Superpower," there are some who fret over being ranked eleven in overall productivity (as measured by per capita GDP).  When we look at the other ten, we see that it is basically countries with  comparatively small populations and/or countries with oil. If Qatar is ranked number one in per capita GDP and we are ranked 11th, it doesn't seem relative. With no disrespect to Snooki, when was the last time you heard anyone talk about the "country" of Jersey (ranked 6th)?

CIA World Factbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rank

country

GDP - per capita (PPP)

Date of Information

 

Rank

country

GDP - per capita (PPP)

Date of Information

1

Qatar

$179,000

2010 est.

 

26

Belgium

$37,800

2010 est.

 

 

 

2

Liechtenstein

$141,100

2008 est.

 

27

Ireland

$37,300

2010 est.

 

 

 

3

Luxembourg

$82,600

2010 est.

 

28

Equatorial Guinea

$36,600

2010 est.

 

 

 

4

Bermuda

$69,900

2004 est.

 

29

Denmark

$36,600

2010 est.

 

 

 

5

Singapore

$62,100

2010 est.

 

30

Greenland

$36,500

2008 est.

 

 

 

6

Jersey

$57,000

2005 est.

 

31

San Marino

$36,200

2009

 

 

 

7

Norway

$54,600

2010 est.

 

32

Taiwan

$35,700

2010 est.

 

 

 

8

Brunei

$51,600

2010 est.

 

33

Germany

$35,700

2010 est.

 

 

 

9

United Arab Emirates

$49,600

2010 est.

 

34

Finland

$35,400

2010 est.

 

 

 

10

Kuwait

$48,900

2010 est.

 

35

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

$35,400

2002 est.

 

 

 

11

United States

$47,200

2010 est.

 

36

Isle of Man

$35,000

2005 est.

 

 

 

12

Andorra

$46,700

2009 est.

 

37

United Kingdom

$34,800

2010 est.

 

 

 

13

Hong Kong

$45,900

2010 est.

 

38

Japan

$34,000

2010 est.

 

 

 

14

Guernsey

$44,600

2005

 

39

France

$33,100

2010 est.

 

 

 

15

Cayman Islands

$43,800

2004 est.

 

40

Macau

$33,000

2009

 

 

 

16

Gibraltar

$43,000

2006 est.

 

41

Faroe Islands

$32,900

2008 est.

 

 

 

17

Switzerland

$42,600

2010 est.

 

42

European Union

$32,700

2010 est.

 

 

 

18

Australia

$41,000

2010 est.

 

43

Italy

$30,500

2010 est.

 

 

 

19

Austria

$40,400

2010 est.

 

44

Monaco

$30,000

2006 est.

 

 

 

20

Netherlands

$40,300

2010 est.

 

45

Korea, South

$30,000

2010 est.

 

 

 

21

Bahrain

$40,300

2010 est.

 

46

Israel

$29,800

2010 est.

 

 

 

22

Canada

$39,400

2010 est.

 

47

Greece

$29,600

2010 est.

 

 

 

23

Sweden

$39,100

2010 est.

 

48

Spain

$29,400

2010 est.

 

 

 

24

British Virgin Islands

$38,500

2004 est.

 

49

Bahamas, The

$28,700

2010 est.

 

 

 

25

Iceland

$38,300

2010 est.

 

50

Slovenia

$28,200

2010 est

 

This is the way it is for today. The big question is, where will we be tomorrow?

Often, we hear about  the economic growth of China and India, as if the United States is going to be left in  the dust competitively Well, with ample natural resources and improving educational systems, of course these countries will grow economically as they should (as we should want them to, as fellow human beings). The real discussion here is about demographics. Yes, we will see more brilliant people from China and India in the global workplace, as we should; India has more honor students than the U.S. has students.

 

                              Population by Country


Would Horace Mann want to see improvements in our educational system?  Of course, as do I. Just as each of us should strive for constant and never ending improvement (W. Edwards Demings).  It is important to look within honestly and explore ways to improve. If for nothing else, then as a challenge to how close we can actually come to our potential both individually and collectively.  Similar to a calculus equation approaching zero or infinity.  Yes, I did it, I used Wikipedia even though I am a professional educator.  Guess what? This year, I will encourage my students to text in class as well.

 

In another life, I might have actually understood this.

 


President Obama's "Race to the top" plan to improve our schools focuses on competition  between the states for funding.  I'm all for competition (after all, it is the capitalist way), but how the money  was to be distributed was poorly thought out.  Take a state like New York, many districts agreed to support

New York's application When the state was actually awarded the $700 million dollars, where did the money go?  The majority of it went to the bureaucracy in Albany and/or New York City.  My local school district will receive $70,000 over 4 years.  It is my guess that our district will spend more money than we receive just on legal fees as the new evaluation procedures are implemented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How about a district by district competition with similar schools competing against each other nationally.  I would predict that more innovative techniques and break throughs would develop from this kind of model. A "phase 2" would then be centered around the implementation of best practices learned from "phase 1."

 

 

If we want to talk about a national educational issue, lets talk about adding a k-12 program focusing on developing innovation & initiative (TED-Ed Brain Trust). In the late 1980's, I was enrolled in an MBA program. The buzz then was about the "Japanese" style of management."  Well the "Japanese" style of management was developed by the great American educator, Dr. W. Edwards Demings. In 1950, Dr. Demings was invited to Japan by Japanese leaders, who wanted to learn how to improve business practices. Dr. Demings should be as well known as Henry Ford. We teach children about the concept of industrialization and the assembly line, however, there is generally not ample time with our state curriculums to teach about tomorrow's economic growth.

 

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 What are the perceptions about

 Public Education today?
Now this is thinking out of the box. With a new 2% property tax cap, we have to look at everything in a new way.

 

 

 


 It is a classic, but it drives the point home.

 Describe the person that you see.

 

 

 

What are people seeing in public education?

 


  • Do people believe that the classroom of yesteryear is good enough?
  •   
  • Do people believe that we are using their tax dollars wisely?

 

  • Do people believe that we are providing an excellent educational opportunity

            for children?

 

 


What is your paradigm regarding education?

 

 

 

 If you are asked to describe an elephant, from what paradigm would you use?  What about education?How are we doing with honest and open dialogue?

 

 

How are you seeing it?

Newsday Stats

 

New York State School Report Cards