From: "George N. Schmidt" <Csubstance@AOL.COM>
Reply-To: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <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
him in an interview what his management philosophy was. It was a
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
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
But that was ten years ago, before the Japanese crony capitalist
kleptocracies began crumbling.
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
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,
have to have a secret language. If you examine them closely, "Six Sigma"
the other jaron-ridden "methodologies" are often ways to initiate middle
management into a kind of arcane priesthood of jargon and method that
to organized common sense. Sound familiar, teachers?
Motorola just announced it is laying off several thousand workers at its
Harvard Illinois plant and exporting its cell phone production to some
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
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
suffered these corporate things.
Just some random facts and thoughts.
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