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Author Topic: Tulsa Public Schools Spending  (Read 92337 times)
Gaspar
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« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2012, 05:19:17 am »

It is the norm. The reason teachers work for tenure is that it is such a politically tenous position. With the election of a new wave of legislators you can suddenly be forced to change your principles and learning to match theirs or your out. Imagine if a Santorum administration came to power and you had no tenure. You may very easily be canned for teaching basic biology. For failing to teach creationism etc. It already happens on an informal basis with school boards bullying administrators in Kansas. But that is not a problem in a for profit business. If they tell you Yield means go then you go or find another place to work.

 You're organizational business naivete is stunning. You actually believe that stuff and it just makes me giggle that I once felt similarly. You are too long in the business world to not understand that competence, productivity and performance are not closely related to corporate personnel decisions or success in climbing the corporate ladder. Those are the exceptions. Its CYA, all the way baby and the Peter principle is alive and well. It works fine for profit making businesses but sucks when your task is to teach someone else's child.

Your first paragraph, I completely agree with. However, it seems to support the argument to take education out of the hands of government, and therefore remove it from under the political thumb.

I don't agree with your second paragraph in any way.  The majority of successful businesses and business people achieve success by offering a product or service that is valued at a greater level than the investment nessesary to acquire it.  When that ratio changes, they are no longer in business or employed.  The only way this is different is if external and artificial market forces are applied.  The Peter principal is found in the greatest concentration within government.  In fact, bureaucracy cultivates it, by breaking down and compartmentalizing responsibility and discouraging responsibility beyond an established scope.  Nowhere do you hear the phrases "That's not my job", "I cant help you with that", and "That's not my department" more than when attempting to acquire a service from a government employee.
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Conan71
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« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2012, 08:59:54 am »

Gaspar, hereís my fear on vouchers and the possibility of for-profit schools created via a voucher system:

Since the government would be providing the vouchers, you will still have a bureaucracy to oversee the dolling out of vouchers.  Politicians and bureaucrats will still have oversight over the curricula as well as needing to have regular inspections and certifications for facilities, curricula, teaching staff, and administration.  Funding per student will still be on the whim of government.  I also suspect graft and corruption will follow as school conglomerates vie for a limited amount of permits or licenses, not unlike the private prison system.

On the flip side, I can definitely see where the threat of losing certification would be one hell of an incentive to keep your standards high.  If the standards slip, you are out of business.  However, looking at other regulated industries in our state like nursing homes, thereís been many cases of inspectors being paid off to look the other way or outright draft bogus condition reports to leave certification in place.

My only real experience with for-profit schools was technical/occupational schools with my exís two children, so my experience is limited but I was not impressed.  I honestly didnít see anything which purported to place student well-being above profit.  Those schools exist to make money and collect federal student loan dollars.  They did not provide job placement services, and really didnít seem to care if a student finished up their course work or not, as they had already received the loan proceeds which the student was on the hook to pay back whether or not they finished the program.

Admittedly, Iím not well-read on the subject other than reading a Wiki entry on it so ignorance may be my guide here.  Iíve still not seen any conclusive evidence that vouchers would necessarily improve results. Sure you can tie teacher bonus pay to performance, you could also fire ineffective teachers much easier I suspect, assuming private schools were successful in keeping unions out which serve to protect the low-hanging fruit in our educational system.  As it is now, arenít many less-tenured teachers on year-to-year contract subject to review in most public school systems?

Government simply is not going to step out of the way and allow private enterprise to run the educational system as it sees fit.  You might lose some supervisory positions, but you still have the same net amount of students to educate and have to have some sort of infrastructure in place to do so.  Then there has to be a profit margin for the private schools on top of that.  Legislators are not simply going to cede one of their pet campaign issues to the private sector and disappear.  They will still ride roughshod over it.

Since I prefer solution-oriented rather than problem-oriented thinking, hereís my two-prong approach:

Honestly the very best investment we can make is in education when itís invested wisely.

1) Develop a partnership program for home-schooling and make tax credits available to parents who choose to do so.  Also make equipment and learning supplies available using a sliding-scale means-based system.

Provide a sensible tax credit which would help a family financially to home-school their children.  Thereís good likelihood the results are going to be better when a parent is responsible for the education of their child, the statistics are favorable with home schooling.  With todayís technology, thereís really little reason why more people cannot do this and use lesson plans on computer or iPad.  Certainly not every family can afford this approach and itís not the best learning environment for every child.

2) Provide incentives for the best educators in the public school system.

Take away tenure and make job retention and bonus pay commensurate with measurable results.  Standardized testing seems to be a fair yardstick as well as in-class evaluation of a teacherís skills.  As with many different industries, craft financial rewards for the best producers.

I donít think Iím ever going to be a believer that for profit private schools are that great a solution.  I also think there should be means testing on who gets vouchers.  Should a family with an income of $250,000 really be getting vouchers when they can afford private school?  Letís face it, their kids have more options available to them than the family earning $50,000.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2012, 09:19:31 am »

Your first paragraph, I completely agree with. However, it seems to support the argument to take education out of the hands of government, and therefore remove it from under the political thumb.

I don't agree with your second paragraph in any way.  The majority of successful businesses and business people achieve success by offering a product or service that is valued at a greater level than the investment nessesary to acquire it.  When that ratio changes, they are no longer in business or employed.  The only way this is different is if external and artificial market forces are applied.  The Peter principal is found in the greatest concentration within government.  In fact, bureaucracy cultivates it, by breaking down and compartmentalizing responsibility and discouraging responsibility beyond an established scope.  Nowhere do you hear the phrases "That's not my job", "I cant help you with that", and "That's not my department" more than when attempting to acquire a service from a government employee.


You can't seem to grasp that organizational behavior is not differentiated by their r'aison d'etre. (sp?) Organizations are political whether they exist to make profit, to operate government, to serve humanity or to provide entertainment. Mostly because humans run them I suppose.

I have a friend who interviews engineers for his company and he shared with me the story of a truly impressive candidate who worked his way through engineering school at OU while taking care of his aging, invalid parents. Because of that his grade point was a mere 3.25 yet he had shown the responsibility, loyalty, integrity and drive that any company would covet. He recommended hiring to his group. They objected that his grade point was too low and he was not an OSU grad. Denied him the job. That my friend is the reality of business.

As long as you continue to view business in the same way a Christian views the Bible or a Jew views the Torah, that is, to take it on unquestioning faith, you will never see its reality. No amount of anecdotes, no amount of stats will shake your faith. Your remarks are almost management survey course in nature. Professorial. I am not trying to criticize you personally or diminish those lofty goals.  One has to have a belief in the afterlife, angels, forgiveness, love, etc to get through the day. One has to believe business works the way you describe to be able to see a path for moving up within its confines. If that convention works for you then it is your reality.

 
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nathanm
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« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2012, 10:40:53 am »

Nowhere do you hear the phrases "That's not my job", "I cant help you with that", and "That's not my department" more than when attempting to acquire a service from a government employee.

This is pure confirmation bias. It happens constantly in any company, large or small. My SO deals with it almost daily in her dealings with clients. So do I, and most of my clients are no more than 20 people strong. It happens in organizations of any size. Conversely, I fairly regularly have interactions with government employees who are going above and beyond their job description to help me get data under a license I can use, among other things.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 10:44:50 am by nathanm » Logged

"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
Gaspar
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« Reply #79 on: April 13, 2012, 10:55:22 am »

This is pure confirmation bias. It happens constantly in any company, large or small. My SO deals with it almost daily in her dealings with clients. So do I, and most of my clients are no more than 20 people strong. It happens in organizations of any size. Conversely, I fairly regularly have interactions with government employees who are going above and beyond their job description to help me get data under a license I can use, among other things.

Of course I'm bias.  I have yet to encounter efficiency in government bureaucracy.  When I do, I will re-evaluate my stereotypes.

LOL!  Back in 2002 I had an employee of mine say "That's not my job" when I asked them to check on another one of my salesman's clients.

They quickly found that phrase to be very correct. 



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« Reply #80 on: April 13, 2012, 11:02:28 am »

As long as you continue to view business in the same way a Christian views the Bible or a Jew views the Torah, that is, to take it on unquestioning faith, you will never see its reality. No amount of anecdotes, no amount of stats will shake your faith.

That works on the other side of the fence too.
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nathanm
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« Reply #81 on: April 13, 2012, 11:09:23 am »

I have yet to encounter efficiency in government bureaucracy.

Yes, I know, government is always the problem and private enterprise is always the solution.  Roll Eyes
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"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
AquaMan
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« Reply #82 on: April 13, 2012, 11:19:38 am »

That works on the other side of the fence too.

You mean have unquestioning faith in the principles of business that Gas espouses? I can see that in religion, but in business you have to compare what you see and experience with what you've been taught. When the two diverge, you simply have to question the teaching or question what you've seen or both. Business is quite pragmatic and reality based or it fails. His view of business is quite like the faith of a religion. He prefers not to question what he has been taught. Perhaps that is why he never sees efficient government. He was taught it doesn't exist.

Yesterday, I called the IRS and was promised help within 10 minutes. Nine minutes later I was served, treated respectfully and with clear communication. The employee understood my problem, asked me several questions and within a few minutes had it solved. She was unclear as to why the FAFSA website was not working correctly and gave me the number of their offices to contact. I saw that as efficient, especially so close to tax deadline. Others may have construed it as "not my job". Of course it is government. I called FAFSA and they said it was probably an IRS problem!

To be fair to the government I should say these three words...Bank of America. You want to hear some crazy fun stories talk to anyone who tried to do a loan modification through them.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 12:09:55 pm by AquaMan » Logged

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nathanm
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« Reply #83 on: April 13, 2012, 12:49:13 pm »

To be fair to the government I should say these three words...Bank of America. You want to hear some crazy fun stories talk to anyone who tried to do a loan modification through them.

Try calling at&t when your leased line goes out. They will blame everything but their equipment even when it's obvious their equipment is the problem. Even when the MRC looks more like a (yearly) salary range than a phone bill. There was something satisfying about telling the engineer to reboot his router, though. It ended up being an almost 24 hour outage for no reason other than their obstinance. I called them at around 11 in the evening. They could have immediately issued an emergency maintenance notice, waited the requisite hour, and had it back up by 12:15, but they refused. One of the twits even refused to escalate at all, blaming our equipment for the better part of a day, even after we swapped it with a spare.

It finally got fixed some time after I went to bed at 7 the next morning. How? By at&t rebooting their bucking router.

Needless to say, there was a change in ISP not long after that. Luckily, they run a tight enough ship that I haven't had to get involved.
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"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
Conan71
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« Reply #84 on: April 13, 2012, 01:02:21 pm »

BOA and AT&T as common paradigms for business?  Large behemoths yes.  Theyíve got far more in common with a large government agency than the majority of businesses in America.  I think Gasparís point was totally lost on you two. 
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nathanm
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« Reply #85 on: April 13, 2012, 01:11:56 pm »

Theyíve got far more in common with a large government agency than the majority of businesses in America.

The majority of businesses do not do the majority of business in America.

I don't think I missed the point at all, I merely disagree with it. Gaspar seems to think that business is automatically better than government. It is not. There is plenty of bureaucracy in any business that's large enough to have management that isn't the owner and it only gets worse when multiple layers of management become necessary.

There have been some interesting sociological studies on this point. Basically, organizations of greater than 20 people or so will almost always end up with a bureaucracy of some sort. It doesn't matter if it's government, business, or a social club.
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"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
AquaMan
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« Reply #86 on: April 13, 2012, 06:38:26 pm »

Nathan is right. Gaspar didn't define his business size. He espoused business platitudes. Nonetheless, we provided three examples of business ineptness from three different arenas. And one example of government working. No amount of anecdotal, logical or statistical examples will suffice.
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Gaspar
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« Reply #87 on: April 14, 2012, 04:26:31 am »

So, the public school system works just fine as a government beurocracy and desperately needs more money to continue to build that beurocracy. Got it!

The jobs of the teachers are what's important. Any failure to perform is the fault of the increasing number of hooligans that those teachers are forced to deal with. Got it!

Government does a far superior job managing enterprise, budgets, and personnel than private enterprise, and produces superior results. Got it!

So what's the problem? Let's just continue to increase funding for the public system. 

Free beer cures alcoholism.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #88 on: April 14, 2012, 09:08:43 am »

So, the public school system works just fine as a government beurocracy and desperately needs more money to continue to build that beurocracy. Got it!

The jobs of the teachers are what's important. Any failure to perform is the fault of the increasing number of hooligans that those teachers are forced to deal with. Got it!

Government does a far superior job managing enterprise, budgets, and personnel than private enterprise, and produces superior results. Got it!

So what's the problem? Let's just continue to increase funding for the public system.  

Free beer cures alcoholism.

So saith the lord of business. Can we have an amen brother MBAs!? Your religion offers you no other options does it?
Your switch is either on or off. The concept of a rheostat on a dimmer switch is just not there for you.

You noted that we could not change each other's views and I don't want to change yours. But mine comes from a great deal more experience having just been on the planet longer, having struggled through the entire process of child raising, having worked for the very institutions you criticize and praise with the very people you praise and denigrate. I would be thrilled for you to come to the same realizations I did, after having my foundations shaken. Don't let others think for you when they have no direct experience. Your arguments will always be weaker.

Listen carefully to what I am going to write now and not what you think I represent. I offer it with the most generous of motives. If you can afford to, get yourself into a lower level position at a school system, private or public, in any area from administration to services. Then spend 6 months observing, listening, interacting with the participants at all levels. Especially pay attention to the youngest children, what they say, how they interpret, their family behaviors and don't draw any conclusions. Just take it in. Stay in the lower levels because you are less likely to be bombarded with philosophical platitudes and more likely to draw your own conclusions. At these levels, all participants are dealing with all the issues of the world everyday and just trying to make it all work.

 If you can still come away with these dogmatic, political viewpoints that are so easily spewed by others who have never been in the belly of the beast, then I will buy you a Marshall's whether you're alcoholic or not. BTW, i think you're easily one of the most creative, humorous posters I've ever come across. It doesn't escape me that humor and intellect go hand in hand. You are unassailable in your creative skills but like my house painter father once told me, "Everyone is an expert when it comes to painting houses (but few actually do it)."
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 09:24:41 am by AquaMan » Logged

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« Reply #89 on: April 14, 2012, 11:29:54 am »

Free beer cures alcoholism.

Cancer cures smoking.
 
 Cheesy
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