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Re: is education political? ....and a personal note



"Nobody's been asking how, if Deming's methods are so good the Japanese
economy took such a bad turn. Anyone have any ideas on that? When "A Nation
At Risk" came out, we were supposed to be in danger of suffering an
intellectual Pearl Harbor thanks to the Japanese "miracle" fueled by Deming
methods. The Japanese economic miracle imploded in several key areas, but
nobody praised American public schools for avoiding similar problems."

George,
Maybe they should call it the Lemming Method rather than the Deming Method,
given the unfortunate downturn we've seen in Japan and elsewhere.
Nope, don't hear much about Deming or the Japanese economy anymore. Must
have gotten sucked into a black hole.
Gerald Bracey has an excellent chapter on this subject in "Settin the Record
Straight"..."To those who argue that schools and the economy are linked, you
can point to Japan and Germany. These nations are often alleged to have
better schools than the United States, yet both are mired in their worst
recessions since World War II."
Yeh, if we got the blame for the stagnant economy in the early 80s, we
should get the credit for the booming economy of the 90s.
Make no mistake about it, the next recession will be blamed on
education...the beating will continue until morale improves.
Mike





From: "George N. Schmidt" <Csubstance@AOL.COM>
Reply-To: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
To: ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU
Subject: Re: is education political? ....and a personal note
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 08:18:46 EST

In a message dated 1/29/01 12:10:59 AM, sandy821@LAVA.NET writes:

<< The Japanese used

Deming's principles after they were rejected here in the US. Now they are

being imported back into the US via Japan. >>

Deming's been the buzzword for the past ten years or so. Our early 1990s
Chicago school supt (Compton's Ted Kimbrough) preached "Deming" when I
asked
him in an interview what his management philosophy was. It was a
meaningless
cliche coming out of his mouth, but for two years middle managers and
principals had to scramble into the Deming mazes. A lot of people told me I
should have kept my mouth shut rather than ask that question, since
Kimbrough
hadn't thought about the question prior to that, but once he did a "Deming"
in print, he had to prove he really was a "Deming" leader. Honest. It was
that strange.

But that was ten years ago, before the Japanese crony capitalist
kleptocracies began crumbling.

Now...

Nobody's been asking how, if Deming's methods are so good the Japanese
economy took such a bad turn. Anyone have any ideas on that? When "A Nation
At Risk" came out, we were supposed to be in danger of suffering an
intellectual Pearl Harbor thanks to the Japanese "miracle" fueled by Deming
methods. The Japanese economic miracle imploded in several key areas, but
nobody praised American public schools for avoiding similar problems.

The damage in industry was worse than the fad in educationese.

In the Chicago area, Deming's ideas were promoted most by Motorola
Corporation under the title "Six Sigma". Anyone who wants to hit the
business
archives the past ten years can find dozens of articles. Just link "Galvan"
"Deming" "Motorola" and or "Six Sigma". In order to develop a priesthood,
you
have to have a secret language. If you examine them closely, "Six Sigma"
and
the other jaron-ridden "methodologies" are often ways to initiate middle
management into a kind of arcane priesthood of jargon and method that
amount
to organized common sense. Sound familiar, teachers?

But...

Motorola just announced it is laying off several thousand workers at its
Harvard Illinois plant and exporting its cell phone production to some
other
country. The miracle is heading out of Illinois. (By the way, Sweden's
Ericsson is doing the same thing; this is a global kind of racket).

Six Sigma didn't fail. Production was always good at Harvard, and the
workers
did a fine job. Our Star Tek telephones are still going strong two years
after we got them. What did it matter? NAFTA (and the rest of "free trade")
made Motorola believe it could organize production just the same in a place
where it could pay workers $5 per day instead of $15 per hour.

The town of Harvard, Illinois, will become a ghost town over the next ten
years, like Flint, Michigan (check Michael Moore) and other places that
have
suffered these corporate things.

Just some random facts and thoughts.

George Schmidt

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