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Monday, August 11, 2008

Administrators say the problem is money

They Say It's About the Money

Right now, the favorite administrator word is “money.” As in, “To fix the education system, we need more.”

I doubt the education establishment would use the next billion any more effectively than they used the last one. I don’t say that to be a smart aleck. I honestly believe that billions of dollars are frittered away every year on things that will not help the children learn better.

The Square of Effective Learning

In my experience, there is a “square” of four factors that have a direct impact on how well students learn. Other things play a role, sometimes a major role, but these four factors are immediate, dramatic and crucial to the learning process.

The four corners of the square are:
* the teacher’s ability to teach
* the student’s ability to learn
* the quality and effectiveness of the curriculum
* the effectiveness of the learning environment

When a student learns, these four factors have worked for that student (or at least not been so disruptive as to inhibit learning).

When administrators make changes that are supposed to have a positive impact on learning, the changes must necessarily affect the teacher’s ability to teach, the student’s ability to learn, the quality of the curriculum, or the effectiveness of the learning environment – or they won’t do any good at all.


I’m going out on a limb to say our most pressing education problem is that students aren’t learning what they need to learn. The solution must entail things that directly affect what happens in the classroom – with the teacher, student, desk and pencil. If adults want other things like big salaries and benefits, then fine, but let’s not pretend any of that will solve the most fundamental problem we have.

Please note:
The information in this post is copyrighted. The proper citation is:
Rogers, L. (August, 2008). "Administrators say the problem is money." Retrieved (date) from the Betrayed Web site:

Welcome to Betrayed - Why Public Education is Failing

Thank you for joining me at "Betrayed." This is a blog for people who care about public education and who want to make it work better for the children. I'm interested in learning from you, so please write freely (observing all standard etiquettes and courtesies of public writing.)

The status of education is critical. Our children aren't learning proper math skills, aren't reading at grade level and know next to nothing about history, civics, geography or finance. Businesses and government agencies across the country are crying out for better math and science skills in their new hires. They're resorting to hiring from outside of the country. It's a tragic situation for our children, and it's totally preventable. But policy makers have insufficient motivation to make the necessary changes, since they profit off the current system. Parents are choosing to leave public education, hoping that alternatives can give their children the quality education they need and deserve.

I've just finished writing a book about public education. It's called "Betrayed: How the Education Establishment Has Failed America and What You Can Do About It." The book is 230 pages long, plus about 43 pages of references. Some of the topics included are: reform mathematics vs. traditional mathematics, the No Child Left Behind Act, standardized testing, administrative accountability, the impact of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, tutoring and remediation, statistics on education, funding for basic education, class size, gifted education, retention policies, teacher education, and parent involvement.

If you're interested in learning more about the book, please let me know. Meanwhile, I hope you will find this blog lively and interesting. Thank you for visiting.