THE PURPOSE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION AND THE EVALUATION OF ITS SUCCES
With School Evaluation Questionnaire
The purpose of public education and present practices of student, teacher and school quality evaluations
The most certain way to know the purpose of public schools is to observe what they do and how they measure how well they do it. Observations of todays public schools would reveal that most school time is devoted to teaching academic subjects to about 30 students in a classroom, and that the success of students and teachers is measured with tests, the most important of which are standardized government tests and the international PISA tests. A reasonable conclusion from these observations is that the tacit purpose or mission of public schools is to teach students how to pass these standardized tests. .
Mission statements are important because the set the standards for governing schools or any institutions, and most schools’ mission statements are too imprecise and general to serve this purpose. Moreover, probably no public school acknowledges their tacit and real purpose is to teach their students to pass tests. The conflict between this real, tacit mission and their unusable published mission causes confusion and conflict that makes it impossible for schools to be well governed and achieve their potential. At no level in the grand hierarchy of public education have we found a serious effort to resolve this conflict. However, until it is resolved public schools cannot be effectively reformed.
School reform depends on all public schools adopting the same mission, one that is clearly stated and understood and supported by all constituents; teachers; administrators, parents, students and citizens. Until then, public schools will remain ineffective and inefficient. A Mission Statement that meets these criteria is: ‘To enable all student to achieve quality lives for themselves and others.’
A particularly important reason for all schools to adopt this mission is that the United Nations has set an important precedent for it and has specified standards for quality lives in their annual Human Development Report for 128 nations. These standards can and should also be used by public schools. They make it possible to specify the desired outcomes or goals that teachers, parents and all school officials want for their students, and also to evaluate how well each student has achieves the goals. They make it possible for principals and administrators to determine which school programs meet, or do not meet standards and eliminate those that do not and give due importance and support to those that do.
EXPLANATION THE FOLLOWING SYSTEM OF EVALUATING SCHOOLS THAT HAVE ADOPTED A ‘QUALITY OF LIFE MISSION’
The ‘School Evaluation Questionnaire’ is designed to collect the opinions of relatively homogeneous groups of students or non-students on how well the K-12 schools they attend or attended met the Quality of Life education standards presented in the author’s DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION slide share program on slideshare.net/jamesleiter . Our purpose is to produce a rough measure of how much more satisfied students and graduates would have been if their schools’ missions had been the ‘Quality of Life Mission’ we espouse instead of the tacit mission of teaching students to do well on standardized tests. We are satisfied our purpose has been fulfilled by that the scores of the volunteers who have so far completed the questionnaire.
We hope that the questionnaire can be useful in comparing the educational quality of different schools, school systems or different regions, states and countries. To do so they need to be completed by statically significant numbers of students or ex-students from the schools or systems being compared. If such measurements prove reliable, the questionnaire would provide another and less harmful way of measuring educational quality than standardized tests.
The Microsoft Word file for this documents and questionnaire can be ordered at no charge from firstname.lastname@example.org We also provide a the K-12 school reform file for the slideshare.net/jamesleiter Neither of these are copyrighted, although we would appreciate credit when they are used in part of in whole and also suggestions for improvement.
James Leiter Jr.
QUESTIONAIRE – WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR K-12 SCHOOL GRADUATES
Name ___________________________________________ Age_______ Sex_____ Ethnic origin
______________________________________ Date _________________
|School, City, District, City, State, Country being evaluated|
Explanation of the questionnaire columns
First column – The question number
Second column – Desired student outcomes
Third column – How the outcomes are achieved
Fourth column – The school’s responsibility for providing the conditions under which the outcomes are achieved
Fifth column – For scoring from 0 to 10 how well the K-12 schools of the person completing the questionnaire fulfilled the responsibility described in column four
- Sum the scores on each line to get a total score.
- Divide the total score by 10 times the number question to get a percentage,
- The percentage indicates on a scale of 0 to 100 how well the questionees believe the school, state, etc. has fulfilled its mission
QUESTIONAIRE – WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR K-12 SCHOOL GRADUATES
Jim Leiter – November 2016
|WHAT STUDENTS SHOULD LEARN IN K-12 GRADES||HOW OBJECT IN COLUMN 1 IS NORMALLY ACQUIRED||HOW MY K-12 SCHOOLS PROVIDED CONDITION FOR ITS ADQUISITION||0 – 10|
|1||Health||Information provided by a family with Healthy eating and living habits||Instruction: healthy eating and living habits.
|2||Safely||Having self regard and knowledge of risks provided by family members||Safety instruction
Safe school environment
|3||Autonomy – Think for one’s self||Having choices and freedom an opportunity to make decisions that affect the quality of my life.||Freedom to negotiate choice of courses, location and means of learning with a teacher/mentor/coach|
|4||Motivation – desire for accomplishment||Continuing success of endeavors and support of significant others||Encouragement of independent learning, choices and decisions supported by mentor/coaches|
|5||Cooperation||Through shared tasks and projects||Put students in small groups where the group and not individuals is responsible for result of the assignments.|
|6||To think – ability to solve problems alone and cooperatively||Combines experience and new information and skills to achieve goals and solve problems alone and cooperatively||Convert the curriculum into questions to be investigated and answered by students and/or student groups.|
|7||Skills||Practice and application of work and thought||Require all students to elect reading, writing and calculating courses. Add other work skills courses to the curriculum|
|8||To be sociable||Participates in group activities||Group members habitually ask for the opinions and participation of reticent members|
|9||To earn a living||Taking job specific elective course||Add job-specific elective courses to the curriculum and require students to choose to take a certain number of them|
|10||To achieve challenging goals||Knowing about opportunities, making decisions and being persistent||Add elective courses to the curriculum about work and advanced study opportunities|
|11||Confidence||Assure the constant success of all students by coaching students in the election of courses that correspond to their abilities with follow-up coaching and encouragement when they get stuck.||Allow students to use their special abilities in elective projects and provide coaching.|
|12||Persistence||Coach students in accepting and overcoming inevitable failures. Coach students to elect difficult, challenging courses where they will fail from time to time and then help them overcome their failures.||Explain that failure and overcoming failure are both a normal part of learning and life and that persistence is a requirement for attaining quality lives.|
|13||Civic responsibility||a. Make government a required course at all grade levels
b. Give student government important responsibilities
|Create the government curriculum and a student government with real authority.|
|14||Vocation||Knowing that happiness and survival depend on serving others||Explain that both survival and quality of life depend on serving and helping one another. Require students to elect a certain number of service-to-others courses.|
|15||Vision||Acquisition of how important people have foreseen future problems and opportunities and acted to deal effectively with the problems or take advantage of the opportunities.||Assign or offer projects that require predicting or anticipating the future, and provide biographies and videos of visionary people.|
|16||Creativity||Recognize that creativity consists of having the imagination to combine things and ideas in new, useful ways and then acting to achieve the imagined results.||Assign projects that have multiple possible solutions and incomplete data.
Provide biographies and videos about the accomplishments of creative people.
|17||Become a Habitual learner||Has had continuing successful learning experiences and is curious||Require students to work towards specific goals and put no limits on their attempts to master them, and provide good coaching.|
|18||Courage||By taking risks that requires managing one’s fear in order to attain success.||Assign or offer elective that require student to make risky guesses about unknowns to arrive at conclusions. Provide written and video examples of risk takers who have succeed and failed..|
|19||Good Humor||By learning to laugh at one’s own mistakes and out-of-the-ordinary behavior and not taking oneself too seriously. By reading humor or seeing humorous videos||Assign or allow reading or theater projects that employ humor. Provide opportunities for small student groups to discuss humor – why certain things are funny and other not funny.|
|20||Agreeablity||By seeing and accepting all sides of issues||Create opportunities for student debates of controversial issues. Allow students some unstructured time at school.|
|21||Tolerance||Learning not to judge others on inadequate evidence or unusual appearance of behaviors.||Create courses about different cultures and how they compare to one’s own.|
|22||Prepared to form stable happy families||Acquires the confidence and maturity to give and receive love and the ability to justly negotiate for the satisfaction of different needs and wants of both husband and wife,||Creat childcare service in all high schools so all student and learn to care for babies and young children. Provide literature and videos on stable, happy family formation|
|SCHOOL FACILITIES REQUIRED FOR LEARNING TO ACHIEVE QUALITY LIVES||SCORE|
|23||School rooms large enough for 100? Students and 20 tables and 170 cm partitioning to separate different study groups||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|24||Curtains for control of exterior light||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|25||Tables for 6 or 8 students||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|26||Stacking Chairs for tables||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|27||Adequate temperature control||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|28||Acoustical sound dampening
– carpets y carpet lined partitions
|Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|29||Electrical connections for computers hanging from ceiling||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|34||Projection equipment and screens||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|35||Computerized administrative system||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|36||Curriculum on-line||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|37||Student work on-line||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|38||Adequate lab equipment for science learning||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|39||Adequate materials and equipment for learning arts and manual skills||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|40||Play and Sports facilities||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|41||Adequate toilets and bathrooms||
|42||Libraries with adequate numbers of books for each grade level||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|43||Video library with videos about the countries that make up the world, world geography, climate and ecology||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|44||Teacher/coach meeting rooms||Adequate budget||To provide the facility|
|WHAT WE DON’T WANT||ACQUIRED BY||SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITY||0 – 10|
|45||Un healthy students||Poor eating and living habits||Correct the condition|
|46||At risk students||Ignorance of risks coupled with lack of self regard||Correct the condition|
|47||Un motivated students||Denied choices, and forced dependency||Correct the condition|
|48||Dependent students||May follows instructions but does not think for himself or herself||Correct the condition|
|49||Students hates learning||Past learning experiences have not improved the quality of his or her life. Feels fearful of examinations||Correct the condition|
|50||Fearful students||Afraid of teachers, other students and tests||Correct the condition|
|51||Disagreeable||Has lacked success in forming positive relationships||Correct the condition|
|52||Un-cooperative students||Fearful or disdainful of others||Correct the condition|
|Ignorant students||Has not acquired the knowledge and skills needed for a quality life||Correct the condition|
|54||Prejudiced students||Is fearful and judgmental of people different from self||Correct the condition|
|55||Hateful students||Dislikes most other people and hurts them when possible||Correct the condition|
 PISA, (Programa Internacional de Evaluación de los Alumnos) tests are produced by the OCDE, (la Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económicos) to annually rank the education systems in different countries. The OCDE, located in Paris, France was founded in 1981. It is interesting to note that its focus is economic development which the apparently and erroneously equate with education development.
 The reason is almost all school teachers and administers abjure evils that standard tests entail, such as ‘teaching to the test’, stressing students and making them fearful and un-creative, eliminating important subjects such as music and other arts from the curriculum and provoking falsifying test results – as so scandalously occurred in Atlanta, Georgia.
 This is a Mission Statement recommended by the autor based on the UNITED NATIONS, Human Development Report, Mahbub ul Haq
Reflections on Human Development, Oxford University Press, 1995 Originally it was call the Quality of Life Report.
 “Without a mission there is no system. , , [a system is] a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system. A man made system must have an aim and this purpose, or aim must be clear to everyone in the system. . . A system must be managed. It will not manage itself. Left to themselves the components of a system become selfish and competitive and this behavior has a destructive effect on the system.”” Deming, W. Edwards, THE NEW ECONOMICS. MIT Press, 1994