12 December 2005

Educational Reform Idea 02

On the heels--almost--of Educational Reform Idea 01 comes a sequel, Educational Reform Idea 02: The Department of Education should be restructured so that no more than four levels exist between a classroom and the Secretary. And the current vegetables clogging up the system either teach or find another line of loafing someplace else.

Let the howling begin.

Although one can often disagree with Robert Heinlein's near-neo-con philosophy, he got one thing right concerning action groups: everybody should be on the front lines. His example was an army, but the same principle applies to what is a top-heavy, superbloated, unfocused, overly-expensive collection of politically-favored horses' patooties posing as administrators. The depth of stupidity of the Education herd is obvious in that less than 40% are classroom teachers: the rest of the herd are "support," a deadbrain euphemism for "dead weight."

My Idea is for the following arrangement: Teacher, Principal, Regional Supervisor, District Supervisor and Secretary. No more "Assistant"-this or "Program"-that: just 4 steps from the classroom to the Secretary's office.


1) Resource management: The resources of the current Education Department are a tribute to political Three Card Monte. (Numbers higher than "3" baffle many of the current Education vegetables...) We taxpayers think We're getting one thing, but We're actually getting taken to the cleaners. By reducing the bloat, the focus becomes the classroom... or find another job, you dolt.

2) Accountability: Nobody's in charge of anything in the Education mudhole. Too many chiefs, not enough Indians, Kemosabe. A recent request for an after-school activity (chess lessons) in a junior high school was "processed" by 17 "evaluators"--17!--only to be rejected eleven months after it was submitted because "(C)hess was not a recognized Physical Education activity." Duh. And duh. When nobody is ultimately responsible, nobody cares.

3) Effectiveness: Inertia is a given in any large organization, but once the stagnation of unreached and unachievable goals sets in--as it has for decades now in Education--only a major shake-up can generate effectiveness. Flattening the organization also makes every participant an active one, not some fuddy-duddy wetting a finger rhythmically as the newspaper waves right to left.

Does this Idea reduce government jobs? Of course it does. That's a bonus, though, not the main idea, which is to give teachers close and effective support. Teachers without clear and solid support are as bad off as life-rafts in a stormy sea. It's a wonder We haven't lost more of them. It's a wonder We allow the storm to go on.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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