Deming and Peters, and teacher evaluations


Before I was a teacher, I led a tough band of people at the Department of Education, and I plied corporate America (among other jobs).  I spent a couple of years in American Airlines‘s corporate change project, facilitating leadership courses for more than 10,000 leaders in the company, as one of a team of about 20 inside consultants.  I had a fine time in management consulting with Ernst & Young LLP (now EY).

W. Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming, Wikipedia image

Back then “quality” was a watchword.  Tom Peters’s and Robert H. Waterman, Jr.‘s book, In Search of Excellence, showed up in everybody’s briefcase.  If your company wasn’t working with Phillip Crosby (Quality is Free), you were working with Joseph Juran, or the master himself, W. Edwards Deming.  If your business was highly technical, you learned more mathematics and statistics  that you’d hoped never to have to use so you could understand what Six Sigma meant, and figure out how to get there.

Joseph Juran. Another exemplar of the mode of leadership that takes lawyers out of law, putting them to good work in fields not thought to be related.

Joseph Juran. Another exemplar of the mode of leadership that takes lawyers out of law, putting them to good work in fields not thought to be related.

For a few organizations, those were heady times.  Management and leadership research of the previous 50 years seemed finally to have valid applications that gave hope for a sea change in leadership in corporations and other organizations.  In graduate school I’d been fascinated and encouraged by the work of Chris Argyris and Douglas McGregor.  “Theory X and Theory Y” came alive for me (I’m much more a Theory Y person).

Deming’s 14 Points could be a harsh checklist, harsh master to march to, but with the promise of great results down the line.

A lot of the work to get high quality, high performance organizations depended on recruiting the best work from each individual.  Doing that — that is, leading people instead of bossing them around — was and is one of the toughest corners to turn.  Tough management isn’t always intuitive.

For the salient example here, Deming’s tough statistical work panics workers who think they will be held accountable for minor errors not their doing.  In a traditional organization, errors get people fired.

Deming’s frequent point was that errors are not the worker’s doing, but instead are caused by managers, or by managerial failure to support the worker in getting quality work.  In any case, Deming comes down hard against firing people to try to get quality.  One of his 14 points is, “Drive out fear.”  In his seminars and speeches, that point was explained with, among other things, a drive to do away with annual performance reviews (wow, did that cause angst and cognitive dissonance at Ernst & Young!).  Performance reviews rarely touch on what a person needs to do to create quality, and generally the review session becomes a nit-picking exercise that leaves ratees angry, and less capable and willing to do quality work.  So Deming was against them as usually practiced.

Fast forward to today.

American schools are under fire — much of that fire unjustified, but that’s just one problem to be solved.  Evaluations of teachers is a big deal because many people believe that they can fire their way to good schools.  ‘Just fire the bad teachers, and the good ones will pull things out.’

Yes, that’s muddled thinking, and contrary to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, there is no research to support the general idea, let alone specific applications.

Education leaders are trained in pedagogy, and not in management skills, most often — especially not in people leadership skills.  Teacher evaluations?  Oh, good lord, are they terrible.

Business adviser and healer, Tom Peters (from his website, photo by Allison Shirreffs)

Business adviser and healer, Tom Peters (from his website, photo by Allison Shirreffs)

In some search or other today I skimmed over to Tom Peters’s blog — and found this short essay, below.  Every school principal in America should take the three minutes required to read it — it will be a solid investment.

dispatches from the new world of work

Deming & Me

W. Edwards Deming, the quality guru-of-gurus, called the standard evaluation process the worst of management de-motivators. I don’t disagree. For some reason or other, I launched several tweets on the subject a couple of days ago. Here are a few of them:

  • Do football coaches or theater directors use a standard evaluation form to assess their players/actors? Stupid question, eh?
  • Does the CEO use a standard evaluation form for her VPs? If not, then why use one for front line employees?
  • Evaluating someone is a conversation/several conversations/a dialogue/ongoing, not filling out a form once every 6 months or year.
  • If you (boss/leader) are not exhausted after an evaluation conversation, then it wasn’t a serious conversation.
  • I am not keen on formal high-potential employee I.D. programs. As manager, I will treat all team members as potential “high potentials.”
  • Each of my eight “direct reports” has an utterly unique professional trajectory. How could a standardized evaluation form serve any useful purpose?
  • Standardized evaluation forms are as stupid for assessing the 10 baristas at a Starbucks shop as for assessing Starbucks’ 10 senior vice presidents.
  • Evaluation: No problem with a shared checklist to guide part of the conversation. But the “off list” discussion will by far be the most important element.
  • How do you “identify” “high potentials”? You don’t! They identify themselves—that’s the whole point.
  • “High potentials” will take care of themselves. The great productivity “secret” is improving the performance of the 60% in the middle of the distribution.

Tom Peters posted this on 10/09/13.

I doubt that any teacher in a public elementary or secondary school will recognize teacher evaluations in that piece.

And that, my friends, is just the tip of the problem iceberg.

An enormous chasm separates our school managers in this nation from good management theory, training and practice.  Walk into almost any meeting of school administrators, talk about Deming, Juran, Crosby, and you’re introducing a new topic (not oddly, Stephen Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, sits on the shelf of many principals — probably unread, but certainly unpracticed).

Texas works to make one standardized evaluation form for every teacher in every grade, in every subject, in every school.  Do you see anything in Peters’s advice to recommend that?  In many systems, teachers may choose whether evaluators will make surprise visits to the classroom, or only scheduled visits.  In either case, visits are limited, generally fewer than a dozen visits get made to a teacher’s classroom in a year.  The forms get filled out every three months, or six weeks.  Take each of Tom’s aphorisms, it will be contrary to the way teacher evaluations usually run.

Principals, superintendents, you don’t have to take this as gospel.  It’s only great advice from a guy who charges tens of thousands of dollars to the greatest corporate leaders in the world, to tell them the same thing.

It’s not like you want to create a high-performing organization in your school, is it?

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57 Responses to Deming and Peters, and teacher evaluations

  1. […] Also at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, see “Deming and Peters, and Teacher Evaluations&#822… […]

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    I regret that critics didn’t even bother to mention Tom Peters’s many practical points.

    And I am reminded of this little gem from the old Quality Digest.

    Like

  3. […] Deming and Peters, and teacher evaluations […]

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  4. Ed Darrell says:

    You dodged the question.

    As Dr. Deming pointed out, 85% to 95% of what shows up on most employees’ evaluations is stuff that is wholly out of their control. For teachers, the figure may be closer to 98%.

    Why should an employee be “rated” badly for their boss’s performance, and why should they be fired for it, when the firing will do nothing to help the company, and the evaluation and firing will completely avoid accountability holding?

    Yes, in a perfect world, the boss’s boss would figure it out in time, and relieve the boss of duties before the boss fires you.

    You seem to be defending that here, avoiding completely Deming’s teachings that those teachers are not incompetent and don’t deserve to be fired.

    Why are you so anxious to blame the faults of the bosses on the workers?

    why are you so anxious to blame the faults of others on the teachers?

    Like

  5. Black Flag® says:

    I’m not sure what companies you have worked for, but a boss’s poor performance is measured by HIS boss, not me, and HE is accountable to that.

    Like

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    If your boss performs poorly, why should you be held accountable, Black Flag?

    Like

  7. Black Flag® says:

    And that is exactly what I said, Ed – and it was you who perverted this into “peeking over the shoulder”.

    What does “accountable” mean to you?

    If you perform poorly, how does someone hold you accountable?

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  8. Ed Darrell says:

    You raised NOTHING about Deming.
    Deming methodologies require MEASUREMENT and EVALUATION, both things you absolutely refute.

    Deming argued for the measurement of important things, and he argued for making accountable those who have the power to change things for the better, but don’t, and fire other people, instead.

    Please revisit the post.

    And Deming.

    Like

  9. Black Flag® says:

    ” I suppose it’s a forgery.”

    it has happened before.

    “Do you verify the medical degrees of those who provide care to your family, your children?”

    Umm, yes.

    ” When you take them to the emergency room with a broken limb or a gash requiring stitches, do you ask for their cv?”

    Umm, no, because that is a different situation.

    When there is an accident, no one cares who has what, they only care if you can help.

    “Which just makes my point for me. Thank you.”

    What point? That you convolute dissimilar circumstances irrationally

    “So I continue to recognize expertise”

    Good for you.
    I don’t.
    I think for myself.

    Like

  10. Black Flag® says:

    Oh, Ed.

    You are so utterly spun out, you think its everyone else that is moving.

    Like

  11. Black Flag® says:

    Nonsense Ed.

    You raised NOTHING about Deming.
    Deming methodologies require MEASUREMENT and EVALUATION, both things you absolutely refute.

    Like

  12. jsojourner says:

    Actually, my dentist has his degree from Indiana University School of Dentistry on his waiting room wall. I suppose it’s a forgery.

    Do you verify the medical degrees of those who provide care to your family, your children? When you take them to the emergency room with a broken limb or a gash requiring stitches, do you ask for their cv?

    Which just makes my point for me. Thank you.

    You take your sick children to medical doctors. Experts. Not to tennis pros. When your daughter needs help with her backhand, my guess is you’ll see the tennis pro. Not the orthopedist.

    So I continue to recognize expertise. Yes, some of it is verifiable and some of that verification takes time. (And I do check when time permits. I’ll check out the tennis pro, too.) Sometimes, there isn’t time.

    When that gash is bleeding like a sieve, you trust that the person you’ve taken your daughter to is an expert. Trained to provide the necessary first aid, complete with training administration of lydocaine and the practice of suturing. And hopefully, even some training in emergency medical psychology. It’s not essential that the nurse or doctor have a great bedside manner, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

    When your kids are sick or injured and you take them to a mechanic or to your neighborhood Amway saleslady for help — then I’ll listen to your bullsh*t about how degrees don’t matter and how expertise is meaningless.

    Until then, I’ll rely on historians for history. Economists for economic theory. Theologians and biblical scholars for theology and scripture exegesis.

    I realize that because no one has a 107 fever…or because no one is bleeding like a stuck pig…you can bloviate about how expertise is unimportant. How former disc jockeys and talk radio hosts are qualified historians and economists.

    But it really means nothing except that you are completely inconsistent in your pontification. You seek out experts when it really matters. You eschew experts when you think it doesn’t.

    I wonder if Glenn Beck can set a broken leg? Dare you to try it.

    Like

  13. Ed Darrell says:

    There is absolutely people who are absolutely a waste of time and a waste of resources. They consume more than they produce which drains the productivity, success and progress of everyone around them. They need to be fired for the rest to earn a living.

    It is too bad you will never have run a business to figure this out – you’d learn too much about the real world and you couldn’t manage that.

    Is there no topic on which you cannot find a way to demonstrate the error of going off half-cocked?

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  14. Ed Darrell says:

    I agree again.
    But Deming has measures and standards. You cannot know what’s wrong until you measure the right things.

    Don’t say you agree with Deming when you opened up the conversation here agreeing that current measures are accurate and teachers are just whining, incompetent losers.

    You could have agreed back then, and produced a constructive dialogue.

    Like

  15. Black Flag® says:

    “I pretty much make sure my dentist graduated from dental school.”

    Oh, I absolutely doubt you made sure of anything.

    Did you verify his degree? Did you pull his school records? Interview his instructors?

    Doubt it.

    All you did is look him up in some sort of directory, showed up at his office, looked around and thought to yourself “Yep, this is what a doctor’s office should look like, so he must be a doctor”

    My kid has never had a cavity, never had a tooth pulled, so I don’t send my kid anywhere.

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  16. Black Flag® says:

    “What’s Wrong with Our Schools: and How We Can Fix Them: Michael C. Zwaagstra,”

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  17. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,
    There is absolutely people who are absolutely a waste of time and a waste of resources. They consume more than they produce which drains the productivity, success and progress of everyone around them. They need to be fired for the rest to earn a living.

    It is too bad you will never have run a business to figure this out – you’d learn too much about the real world and you couldn’t manage that.

    Like

  18. Black Flag® says:

    “Also works well in space exploration, where profit and loss are less obvious, and in aircraft safety engineering, in airport development and health care research, also in places where profit and loss are not important.”

    Whereas I agree his methodology has success in these activities, you are -wrong- again. Profit and loss is ALWAYS important.

    To believe you can consume more than you produce is a sign of the utmost ignorance.

    Nothing -absolutely nothing- can be sustained if it does not create more wealth then the wealth in consumes in such action.

    “Teachers are humans, too. Their motivations cannot differ that much from other humans that Deming’s experience and advice are wholly inapplicable.”

    I agree again.
    But Deming has measures and standards. You cannot know what’s wrong until you measure the right things.

    And, as teacher’s are human, they do human things, such as avoid pain.

    Working is pain – you’d rather be lazing on a beach.
    Teachers -like nearly everyone- does what is necessary to get by and less is better.

    When there is no measure and no accountability, you get modern US education system – overpriced, under quality.

    Like

  19. Jim says:

    I pretty much make sure my dentist graduated from dental school. Don’t you? I understand the Amish do a fair job of “pullin’ teeth” in a pinch. Maybe that’s where you send your kids.

    I’d love to chat more, but I need to get our dog down to the mechanic. Poor thing has an eye infection.

    Like

  20. Ed Darrell says:

    Deming’s work applies to the business in the marketplace, where profit and loss matter to the success of a business.

    Also works well in space exploration, where profit and loss are less obvious, and in aircraft safety engineering, in airport development and health care research, also in places where profit and loss are not important.

    Teachers are humans, too. Their motivations cannot differ that much from other humans, that Deming’s experience and advice become wholly inapplicable to them.

    More often, I find people simply don’t understand motivation, how it works, and why it’s important.

    Like

  21. Ed Darrell says:

    You provided assertions. If there was documentation there at one point, the software must have stripped it out. Please repost.

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  22. Ed Darrell says:

    Highly-trained, well-qualified teachers are not “waste.” No human is “waste.”

    (Despite your work to convince me otherwise on that last point . . .)

    Like

  23. Black Flag® says:

    Ed, I provided ample documentation that your position is wrong and incomplete.

    Just because you adjust test scores to compensate for your ignorance does not make you smarter.

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  24. Ed Darrell says:

    Public schools don’t suck:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch/education-testing_b_4109068.html

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/book-reviews/diane-ravitchs-reign-of-error-an-in-your-face-defense-of-public-education-707394/

    Scores don’t go lower every year (for my kids, they get higher and higher), except for the SATs in 2006 when the writing component kicked in; generally they’ve improved over time, despite “watering down” the pool of test takers by expanding it mightily:

    http://press.collegeboard.org/releases/2008/sat174-scores-stable-record-numbers-take-test

    http://press.collegeboard.org/releases/2007/number-and-diversity-satsup174sup-takers-all-time-high

    http://press.collegeboard.org/releases/2010/college-board-announces-2009-ap174-results-more-diverse-group-us-students-succeeding-ap-exam

    http://press.collegeboard.org/releases/2013/stagnant-2013-sat-results-require-action (Only 43% college ready? How does that compare with Singapore’s 15%? Finland’s 40%?)

    And especially see the National Assessment of Educational Progress: http://www.nagb.org/newsroom/naep-releases/longtermtrend2012.html

    Educational achievement is not so good as we wish it were. But public school performance is up — remarkable considering the way enemies of children, teachers and education in general (like Black Flag) have hammered at it for 40 years. More students are performing better over all. Public schools perform better than voucher schools or charter schools.

    Public education remains one of the greatest inventions of the U.S., and a remarkably successful one.

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  25. Black Flag® says:

    No, Ed.
    You can’t get good if you don’t fire the waste.

    But, since we know you have zero economic sense, zero financial sense, and zero business acumen, we won’t be using your theory of economics, finance and business.

    Like

  26. Black Flag® says:

    Another false assertion, Ed.
    Where’s your data and proof?

    No, the diminishing returns are a fact.

    “What’s Wrong with Our Schools: and How We Can Fix Them: Michael C. Zwaagstra,”

    I suppose this guy wrote this book, with one sentence saying
    “Nothing, its great!”

    Like

  27. Ed Darrell says:

    SAT tests have gotten more difficult. Student scores are rising.

    More kids are taking the SATs, meaning not just th top 10% any more.

    Scores are rising.

    When the diminishing returns are, instead, increasing, against your prediction, then perhaps your prediction was in error. Always go with the data.

    Who ever got good by firing? Give the history, please.

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  28. Black Flag® says:

    “Public schools don’t suck.”
    They absolutely suck.

    Every year, the student scores get lower – unless the tests are dumbed down.

    The fact of the matter: by increasing quantity, you lose quality. Fact of economics called “diminishing returns”.

    “Fire the bad ones. But I’ll insist you have a valid method of determining who are the bad ones before anyone is fired.”

    Sure.

    “And then I’ll fire you. No one ever got to excellence by firing. If you can’t figure that out, you’ve got no business in education”

    What utter bullshit!

    You pretend that holding on to stupid people makes you better???

    Like

  29. Black Flag® says:

    So, to you, if he has a Dr. in front of his name, you will let him pull your tooth?

    Or do you let any dentist pull your tooth, since they all have Dr. in front of their name?

    Like

  30. Jim says:

    Do I genuflect before experts? Maybe a little, yeah.

    Tonight, I am going to see my dentist to refill a tooth. He’s an expert. I suppose I could ask my mail carrier to do it. But instead, I gave her a package my business needs to have shipped.

    Darn the luck. I could’ve asked Dr. Gubler to ship the package. What WAS I thinking…

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  31. Ed Darrell says:

    Real story, not made up. Texas requirements.

    Public schools don’t suck. Test scores are up, SAT scores are up, graduation rates are up, and more Americans get a good education in public schools than in any other type of school, in any other part of the world, in any other time in history.

    That world “socialist?” It doesn’t mean what you appear to think it means.

    Fire the bad ones. But I’ll insist you have a valid method of determining who are the bad ones before anyone is fired.

    And then I’ll fire you. No one ever got to excellence by firing. If you can’t figure that out, you’ve got no business in education.

    Like

  32. Black Flag® says:

    I did not avoid your question, Ed.
    You made up a bizarre story about what “teacher evaluations” meant.

    It is you who is “avoiding” the reality that public schools suck, and get worse every day, though the US has the highest paid public school teachers in the world and spends the most on “education” per capita in the world.

    There is no incentive for a public school teacher to do his “best”. Poor teachers are paid the same as good teachers – they get the same benefits and days off and neither can get fired.

    But the Socialist in you can not understand the effect of incentives, right? That the “bad” crowd out the “good” if the bad cannot be fired.

    You are afraid of such evaluations since it will expose those that are bad. Are you in that group, Ed, hence your fear?

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  33. Ed Darrell says:

    Nice avoidance of the question.

    If I read the entirety of your answer, I hear you backing up on your earlier criticism.

    Figures.

    Either teachers matter, or they do not. You choose “not.” I can’t figure out why.

    But, your assumptions that everyone else is a fool and not working to do their best, offers more of a solid reason than perhaps you wish to reveal.

    Like

  34. Black Flag® says:

    Equally, Ed.

    Do you place a job upon a subordinate, never evaluating his work against his outcomes, become constantly harassed at his demands for ever higher pay as his excuse that it is his endless low pay -no matter the pay- that is the cause for his poor performance?

    Do you then suffer the inability to fire these miscreants, whilst suffering the ever decreasing quality of his work?

    Either teachers MATTER or they do not.

    If they do not, they are unnecessary and need to be dismissed.

    If they matter, they need to be measured for their performance and compensated likewise, with the poor performers fired and the best hired.

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  35. Ed Darrell says:

    To assure your quality product in ITIL, you’re content with your boss peeking into your office to watch you code for ten minutes, about once every six weeks? Your boss can tell how well you do with such an evaluation?

    No wonder you think teachers should put up with the same.

    Like

  36. Black Flag® says:

    Forgot how to use google, Ed?

    Google “ITIL” – its probably the first 100 hits.
    “ITIL is the only consistent and comprehensive documentation of best practice for IT Service Management.”

    Technology – soup to nuts (Software to Networking)

    Like

  37. Ed Darrell says:

    What is ITIL, and what is your familiarity with it?

    Where do you teach (other than your kids at home)?

    Like

  38. Black Flag® says:

    Much of Deming’s work is a major component of ITIL.

    As a adult educator, I know a lot about the subject of learning.

    As a homeschooling parent, I know even more than you about it.

    Like

  39. Ed Darrell says:

    What’s your experience with TQM, Deming and education, Black Flag?

    Like

  40. Black Flag® says:

    “I take great comfort, Ed, in knowing there is no subject about which some people are not expert.”

    Are you incapable of reasoning, logic and comprehension?

    Or -as it appears- do you genuflect in front of experts and let them do your thinking for you?

    I dare say, if Ed opined on other matters of which do not interest me, or that -rarely- I know little about, I don’t comment.

    Those that I dare say I do know a lot about, I do comment -especially when Ed is typically wandering lost in the forest about it.

    “Meanwhile, what would YOU know about public education?”

    Obviously a hellva lot more than you.

    Like

  41. jsojourner says:

    I take great comfort, Ed, in knowing there is no subject about which some people are not expert.

    I dare you to start threads about bowling, whether or not kimchi is digestible, replacing car windshield glass and the removal of sebaceous cysts. I dare you. Because I am sure one or two people will cheerfully hold forth with their multifarious, authoritative opinions.

    Meanwhile, what would YOU know about public education?

    Like

  42. Black Flag® says:

    Izen,

    Again, empty assertion from you.
    Where is YOUR proof?

    So far, Ed’s helped as well, shows your claim to be ridiculous – so where is your proof of this lack of education pre-government schooling?

    Roger Chartier, The Practical Impact of Writing
    Shows that from his study, 65% of men in England and Scotland were literate in 1600! This must surprise you, huh?

    By the 1750s, literacy rates were the highest in the New England colonies, at about 75% for males and 65% for females.

    So your empty assertions are false.

    Like

  43. izen says:

    @- Black Flag
    “I assume you believe everyone before 1900 was ignorant?”

    No, I know that education was NOT consistently afforded to most people without state intervention and regulation.

    There is no, (unless you know otherwise,) society that has exceeded 50% female literacy without government education.

    Like

  44. Black Flag® says:

    Thanks for agreeing with me, and reversing your position, Ed.

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  45. Ed Darrell says:

    Daniel Boorstin has a good history of public education in America, in his three-volume series, The Americans. I think most decent libraries will have that on the shelves, and I think most people would find it quite instructive.

    Shorthand history: Despite the “Ol’ Deluder Satan” Act in Massachusetts, public schools didn’t really take off much before the American Revolution. In fact, the idea didn’t really start to bite until the population got much denser, circa 1820. The birth of the American high school is usually pegged to about that time.

    In the interim, Madison and Jefferson, and a whole host of others, came to the understanding that an educated, voting populace is the salvation of a democracy or a democratic republic. Jefferson explicitly proposed free public education through at least 3rd grade, by which time students would be proficient in reading and writing and basic math; Jefferson proposed free, top-notch education for the top 10% past that, and then free education through about 8th grade for the top 10% as determined probably around 6th grade.

    On the frontier, however, new cities were quick to establish schools. There was high demand for education, and the set-asides of lands whose proceeds in sale or rent was dedicated to supporting public schools, met with wide approval and wide acceptance. While making allowances for farm duties, schools were built in most pioneer towns. When the Mormons got to Utah in 1847, they built canals and ditches to irrigate, first, a general meetinghouse, and then a public school. Public schooling after 1847 was generally assumed in the west. By 1850, the Mormons founded the first university west of the Mississippi (now the University of Utah); by 186s the Public Land Grant Universities were funded by the federal government to turn out educated farmers, miners, mechanics and teachers.

    Public school populations probably exceeded private school poplulations well before 1850. Horace Mann’s systematic reforms and expansion of schools started in 1837, and received broad acceptance as a blueprint for school systems nationally.

    After 1870, I think it’s fair to say the vast majority of Americans got their education in public schools. Public schools are the single largest source of Nobel Prize winner over the years.

    It’s not that everyone prior to 1900 was ignorant; it was that they were generally capable of reading, and they dedicated themselves to expanding public schools as the means of Americanizing America and Americans. On the whole, they were pretty smart.

    _____________

    Some notes:

    1. Horace Mann
    2. PBS, the Story of American Education
    3. History of Education in America

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  46. Black Flag® says:

    So, Izen.

    I assume you believe everyone before 1900 was ignorant?

    Sir, it is your claim that needs the proof, not mine. The fact that prior 1900 had educated men – predating public education – disputes your universal claim of ancient ignorance.

    Like

  47. Ed Darrell says:

    Your claim is false, given that a decent education was consistently afforded to most people long before government took it over, and consistently afforded to many people who chose not to use government schools.

    Contrary to history again, Black Flag. Izen is correct.

    See Jefferson’s invention of public education as we know it in Notes on the State of Virginia. Get any good history of education in America — and note that private education was not doing the job at any point that public education was expanded to fill the gaps.

    Like

  48. izen says:

    @- Black Flag
    “Your claim is false, given that a decent education was consistently afforded to most people long before government took it over, and consistently afforded to many people who chose not to use government schools.”

    I await with interest any credible evidence of education being consistently afforded to most people in any society historical or extant without state involvement.

    @-“Further, my position is not ideological.
    It is moral.”

    Morality, the last refuge of the ideologue!

    Like

  49. Black Flag® says:

    Izen,

    Your claim is false, given that a decent education was consistently afforded to most people long before government took it over, and consistently afforded to many people who chose not to use government schools.

    Further, my position is not ideological.

    It is moral.

    It is immoral and evil to use violence on the non-violent.

    Government, at its root premise, must use violence on the non-violent to enforce its edicts.

    Government – all government – is evil.

    To use government and its evil to obtain a benefit is -itself- an act of deadly folly.

    You do not create moral ends by immoral means.

    Like

  50. izen says:

    @-Black Flag

    I understand that your ideological position is consistent, if government is always ascribes as only oppressive on the individual and never enabling then decrying state education is coherent with your beliefs.

    Unfortunately your political theory does not work in practice. It is notable that there is no historical or extant example of decent education being provided by any means other than state provision.

    Like

  51. Black Flag® says:

    How do you believe the people can enforce accountability on the government – when government is the agency of force?

    What accountability? By what measure? Immune to profit and loss the government has only political measures- such as Ed, who measures “good government” by the amount of goodies he gets.

    But all the goodies for Ed destroys the economy somewhere else – but no one sees it because no one measures it.

    Like

  52. Flakey says:

    This always gets me, you see this time and time again. Comments like “it is Government work” or, there no accountability or responsibility. Why is this allowed to happen in the USA then they government works for the people you should demand they act correctly not simply demand the whole thing be dismantled instead.

    Like

  53. Black Flag® says:

    I like Deming a lot.

    But to put him and “teachers” together is a wild stretch.

    Deming’s work applies to the business in the marketplace, where profit and loss matter to the success of a business.

    No such thing happens in schools.

    PUblic Teachers everywhere are terrible – and because of the arcane standards of government rules, can’t be held accountable. There is no profit or loss to tame the idiots, idiots rule.

    Idiots rule the schools.

    To pretend that an aspect of Deming’s work – responsibility – can be applied to a system where there is no responsibility to the product is…well… typically Ed-ish

    Public schools are a joke. And without direct consequences to the quality of the teacher, the teachers are a joke.

    Fire bad teachers – which is most of them – and the schools will get better.

    Better yet, home school.
    ..

    Like

  54. Black Flag® says:

    I like Deming a lot.

    But to put him and “teachers” together is a wild stretch.

    Deming’s work applies to the business in the marketplace, where profit and loss matter to the success of a business.

    No such thing happens in schools.

    PUblic Teachers everywhere are terrible – and because of the arcane standards of government rules, can’t be held accountable. There is no profit or loss to tame the idiots, idiots rule.

    Idiots rule the schools.

    To pretend that an aspect of Deming’s work – responsibility – can be applied to a system where there is no responsibility to the product is…well… typically Ed-ish

    Public schools are a joke. And without direct consequences to the quality of the teacher, the teachers are a joke.

    Fire bad teachers – which is most of them – and the schools will get better.

    Better yet, home school.

    Like

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