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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:

1 comment:

LynnG said...

Congratulations on your book! And I hope to see more posts on your blog. At a recent BOE panel discussion, the administrators in my local school district said exactly what you predict: they want more money (but no strings attached, please) and if kids aren't learning, it's the parents fault. I wrote about it on a new blog created to push for education reform in Connecticut -- Throwing Curves