Veda's "One Event" Wisdom

fisherman

Patron with Honors
Inside and outside scientology -- our human tendency to think unilaterally, to "go with the flow", to ignore consequences, causes staggering damage. I'm on a real tear about this lately and Veda summarized the problem so succinctly I just had to create a thread.

Veda wrote

Fear and hope combine, and each event that seems to validate "the tech" adds "certainty." If one in a 100 events "validates the tech," then that one event (which many indeed be a valid positive experience) will stand out in a Scientologist's mind as confirmation that "Scientology works," and the other 99 will be ignored.

I see what Veda describes happening everywhere. That is, people latching on to "one event" and making it the measure of all things. And when that validation falls apart (instead of seeing an error in judgment) latching on to a new "one event" that will "solve" the situation -- ad infinitum.

Whether we're Tea-baggers or Democrats, College Professors or plain folk, we all seem to fall into this trap of tunnel vision and train-track thinking.

-----------------

An example:

In my town we just hired a new "kick-ass" school superintendent to replace the last "kick-ass" school superintendent, who was hired to "light a fire" to fix the failures of the previous school superintendent. Not surprisingly, the resumes and credentials of ALL of these individuals is essentially identical. I often wonder about the sanity of the hiring committee.

When hired, EACH of of these these superintendents made some posturing noises and purchased new curriculum materials (can you say "kick-back") that would revolutionize test scores. As a school tutor, I have to say that each of those curriculum "changes" looked an awful lot like the previous curriculum repackaged.

So... has anyone in town tried to analyze the actual problem -- ever? Nope. They start an argument. One group of "concerned parents" defends the old curriculum while another (along with a cabal of the acting superintendent's cronies) proclaims the new curriculum will produce "magic" and shouting "something must be done."

Want to know ONE major un-addressed problem in our schools? Staff resources are mis-allocated. We're not even understaffed. Rather, we fail to distribute the students equally across existing resources. Our failing students are not getting attention that is, in fact, available. Our problems are probably not curriculum related, at all.

My point is Veda's. We get locked into "one events" that prevent us from thinking critically - "outside the box." When that "one event" doesn't pan out, we trade it for another "one event."

We don't seem to recognize or accept the possibility of multiple causes with a multiplicity of solutions. Or the more radical reality that solutions are sometimes more damaging than the problem.

Thanks for letting me rant!

fisherman
 
Last edited:

Zinjifar

Silver Meritorious Sponsor
School improvements are easy; kids get a voucher for the school of their parents' choice and all graduates of a school of education are decertified.

Zinj
 

AlphOhm

Traveler of time/space
My point is Veda's. We get locked into "one events" that prevent us from thinking critically - "outside the box." When that "one event" doesn't pan out, we trade it for another "one event."


fisherman

Possibly true. From my observation though, it appears that Veda may have some misunderstoods about "critically".
 

Mystic

Crusader
"Wisdom" is very interesting. It often is concerned with "how to do something". The good ol' ancient and holy "How?".

We could even pull off a Hubbard-tulpa trip and make an entire scale of "Wisdom". Like the "wisdom" of a serial killer (how to get away with it) at the bottom to Divine Ascension (how to) at the top.
 

fisherman

Patron with Honors
Zinj wrote:

School improvements are easy; kids get a voucher for the school of their parents' choice and all graduates of a school of education are decertified.

There's merit in your point. However, this doesn't work if there's no better alternative for parent's to apply the voucher. I live in an area where charter schools are numerous and funded access is quite broad. This implementation of "school choice" has brought about improvement, but not to the extent some had hoped.

"Decertification/Certification?" I don't see a plus or minus here.

"School Choice" voucher programs, while philosophically appealing (and certainly appropriate in many instances) may not be economically prudent. Markets are not alway efficient and you end up with an awful lot of "bricks and mortar" chasing too few students. They multiplicity of rail-lines during the railroad industry's hey-day is an example.

To be frank, I think the simplest approach to school improvement is a more "hard-headed" approach to management. I managed a school-sized organization of creative/technical employees and would love a try at running a school. I genuinely believe that more creative resource allocations and time-management would yield (at least) a 25% improvement in a number of measurable areas.

-------

Still, my primary point is Veda's. We latch onto "single answers" without critically evaluating the multiplicity of cause, solutions, and consequences.

What we're really talking about is "epistemology." How do we know? How do we know that a proposed solution will alleviate a problem rather than make it worse. How do we determine that we've sufficiently accounted for collateral criteria and consequences?

Scientology offers facile "single answers" to complex questions. It's not surprising that those answers largely fail.

Here's a dialectic technique one of my professors taught. It's common sense, but I find it useful. 1.) Summarize your idea, point or argument in your mind (or on paper). 2.) Summarize the opposite point, idea, or argument -- giving it equal credit. 3.) Summarize, explore, conjure, develop the alternative points that may (or may not) fall between the polar extremes.

There's no magic to this, it's just a method for getting the ol' thinking cap going.

fisherman
 
Francis Bacon identified four features of the mind that he called "Idols of the Mind."

The first one was "the Idols of the Tribe" which Bacon says we tend to be more receptive to positive evidence than negative evidence.

Bacon points out that hearing a small number of confirming evidnece can cancel out hearing a large number of negative evidence.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 

paradox

ab intra silentio vera
Yarr. Just turn the whole scale Hubbard spewed upside down and you have a bit more accuracy.

Fer' sooth. Exactly what I have personally found as well, only dispensing with the understatement, i.e. a *lot* more accuracy.
 

Zinjifar

Silver Meritorious Sponsor
Zinj wrote:



There's merit in your point. However, this doesn't work if there's no better alternative for parent's to apply the voucher. I live in an area where charter schools are numerous and funded access is quite broad. This implementation of "school choice" has brought about improvement, but not to the extent some had hoped.

"Decertification/Certification?" I don't see a plus or minus here.

"School Choice" voucher programs, while philosophically appealing (and certainly appropriate in many instances) may not be economically prudent. Markets are not alway efficient and you end up with an awful lot of "bricks and mortar" chasing too few students. They multiplicity of rail-lines during the railroad industry's hey-day is an example.

To be frank, I think the simplest approach to school improvement is a more "hard-headed" approach to management. I managed a school-sized organization of creative/technical employees and would love a try at running a school. I genuinely believe that more creative resource allocations and time-management would yield (at least) a 25% improvement in a number of measurable areas.

fisherman

To an extent I was kidding, in a Swiftian way. But, I went to catholic schools until college and my son went to both catholic and public schools. And I've also returned to college 3 times since, so have some idea of the 'evolution' of american education.

There are always 'good teachers', but one of the *best* aspects of private catholic schools was that the teachers were *not* credentialed. They were paid less, but, we had a very well balanced mixture of excellent people who were teaching for a *while*; rather than as a career. And, I was lucky that many of the priests/nuns I ran into were also excellent teachers. No doubt some weren't, but, on average they were superior to those in public education. By the 80s, I would say that public education had become merely a factory situation, run by the unions for the *administrators* and the teachers who's primary career goal was to *become* an administrator. The 'students' were merely a raw material that was unavoidable to the career goal.

That's said somewhat simply, but as a generalization it's generally true.

A voucher program would almost certainly result in an overall improvement and reduction in 'administration', smaller classes and better educated teachers with less of an 'educated in' ideology.

Charter Schools are wonderful, but also stuck within the same old system that's dedicated to keeping them as a small 'alternative'.

I'd love to see more 'short term' teachers in everything from grade school through high school.

Zinj
 
School improvements are easy; kids get a voucher for the school of their parents' choice and all graduates of a school of education are decertified.

Zinj

I don't see it any other way. That is the best solution to solve the problem of the evil SPs trying to push science and history onto our children, instead of teaching them about Jesus walking with the dinosaurs, and how L. Ron Hubbard saved mankind.
 

Feral

Rogue male
"Wisdom" is very interesting. It often is concerned with "how to do something". The good ol' ancient and holy "How?".

We could even pull off a Hubbard-tulpa trip and make an entire scale of "Wisdom". Like the "wisdom" of a serial killer (how to get away with it) at the bottom to Divine Ascension (how to) at the top.

Interesting point Mysty, what would be the preferred word then?

Something that highlights judgment and integrity instead of skill.
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
Inside and outside scientology -- our human tendency to think unilaterally, to "go with the flow", to ignore consequences, causes staggering damage. I'm on a real tear about this lately and Veda summarized the problem so succinctly I just had to create a thread.

Veda wrote



I see what Veda describes happening everywhere. That is, people latching on to "one event" and making it the measure of all things. And when that validation falls apart (instead of seeing an error in judgment) latching on to a new "one event" that will "solve" the situation -- ad infinitum.

Whether we're Tea-baggers or Democrats, College Professors or plain folk, we all seem to fall into this trap of tunnel vision and train-track thinking.

-----------------

An example:

In my town we just hired a new "kick-ass" school superintendent to replace the last "kick-ass" school superintendent, who was hired to "light a fire" to fix the failures of the previous school superintendent. Not surprisingly, the resumes and credentials of ALL of these individuals is essentially identical. I often wonder about the sanity of the hiring committee.

When hired, EACH of of these these superintendents made some posturing noises and purchased new curriculum materials (can you say "kick-back") that would revolutionize test scores. As a school tutor, I have to say that each of those curriculum "changes" looked an awful lot like the previous curriculum repackaged.

So... has anyone in town tried to analyze the actual problem -- ever? Nope. They start an argument. One group of "concerned parents" defends the old curriculum while another (along with a cabal of the acting superintendent's cronies) proclaims the new curriculum will produce "magic" and shouting "something must be done."

Want to know ONE major un-addressed problem in our schools? Staff resources are mis-allocated. We're not even understaffed. Rather, we fail to distribute the students equally across existing resources. Our failing students are not getting attention that is, in fact, available. Our problems are probably not curriculum related, at all.

My point is Veda's. We get locked into "one events" that prevent us from thinking critically - "outside the box." When that "one event" doesn't pan out, we trade it for another "one event."

We don't seem to recognize or accept the possibility of multiple causes with a multiplicity of solutions. Or the more radical reality that solutions are sometimes more damaging than the problem.

Thanks for letting me rant!

fisherman

Fisherman, I absolutely agree with you. That's human nature, and it's why mass movements can take advantage of people. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel "All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and he disregards the rest".

Your example of the school exactly illustrates your point. You are grossly simplifying the complex issues and problems with public school systems. Congratulations Fisherman. . . you are human just like the rest of us! :coolwink:

I think that this problem becomes less of a problem when people are are educated and experienced in their particular fields and understand the complexities therein. When people allow themselves to see ALL the aspects of Scientology, they stop taking things on faith or authority and begin to be able to analyze critically. Same is true in any technical field. A little knowledge is very dangerous, but someone who takes time to become an expert (with an open mind of course) can rise above this tendency.
 

me myself & i

Patron Meritorious
Interesting point Mysty, what would be the preferred word then?

Something that highlights judgment and integrity instead of skill.

Self-Realized?

It highlights judgment and integrity instead of skill and cannot be plotted on any theoretical scale for the simple reason such scales are like scaffolds which scaffolds are discarded when the building itself is complete.

mm&i
 

me myself & i

Patron Meritorious
:coolwink:

I think that this problem becomes less of a problem when people are are educated and experienced in their particular fields and understand the complexities therein. When people allow themselves to see ALL the aspects of Scientology, they stop taking things on faith or authority and begin to be able to analyze critically. Same is true in any technical field. A little knowledge is very dangerous, but someone who takes time to become an expert (with an open mind of course) can rise above this tendency.

Beautiful and succinctly spoken Tiger Lily.

I wonder if this paradigm (if you will) can be or could be applied to religion.

My first inclination is to think not. As much as one could possibly love to wed true spiritual insight (via silent experience) with true worldly knowledge (via practical experience) I think such a wedding may well be a fantasy (for reasons that are 'impractical') from a higher/spiritual point of view.

Nonetheless I loved how you captured the essence in your post and just wanted to tell you so.

Thanks.

mm&i
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
One-event-ology is not only an inciteful observation about how Scientologists think---it is mandated by holy scripture itself!

Scientologists believe themselves to be on the Bridge to Total Freedom. The "tech" offers safe passage to immortality.

But the "tech" is a rather vast toolbox with countless varieties of (supposedly) surgically accurate instruments for all that ails you.

Key question: WHAT DOES HUBBARD'S HOLY SCRIPTURE UNEQUIVOCALLY STATE IS THE MOST POWERFUL TECH TOOL OF ALL, BAR NONE?

Answer: LISTING AND NULLING

Embedded in this sacred tool is the secret of how Scientologists think and WHY they rely on ONE event...

It is, essentially, the asking of ONE question--the perfect question......and the discovery of ONE answer--the perfect answer. The perfect answer, known as "THE ITEM" or "THE RIGHT ITEM" or "THE WHY", when it is supposed to bring about instant transcendence above the human Mest universe condition.

From the "Laws of Listing and Nulling": (note: 'nulling' is the process of using the e-meter to eliminate wrong items to enable the pc to find his "item")

"20. Listing and nulling are highly precise auditing actions and if not done exactly by the laws may bring about a down tone and slow case gain, but if done correctly exactly by the laws and with good auditing in general will produce the highest gains attainable."
Thus, Scientologist are trained, conditioned and thoroughly indoctrinated to seek the ONE event that explains and resolves everything.

They do not passively just absorb an event--they aggressively hunt for it. They pay enormous sums of money to find:

* The ONE cause of their illness. (who their SP is)

* The ONE cause of their bogged case (in the case-cracking Rundown)

* The ONE cause of their financial meltdown (in the Finance Debug Rundown)

* The ONE cause of all problems on earth (Psychs)

* The ONE cause of all human suffering (the bank)

* The ONE cause of all Clear's suffering (Xenu)

* The One cause of why the last level didn't work (the next level is in "restim")
Even before the Scientologist is a Scientologist, they are introduced to ONE-EVENTosis by having their ONE ruin found.

Scientologists favorite mythology is this notion that they are just ONE event away--one level one session, one command--from having Scientology deliver on its cosmic promise.

Hubbard even created a ONE-SHOT clear command, but soon hid it under the rug when he realized that it would prevent him from charging each pc ONE million dollars for the bridge.
 

fisherman

Patron with Honors
Helluva,

That's quite insightful, really. I neither knew or would have considered "one-event-ology" -- Well done! :thumbsup:

TigerLily, thanks for your thought provoking post! You wrote:

... In the words of Simon and Garfunkel "All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and he disregards the rest".

^^^^ I very much like this quote and shared it with my daughter tonight. You also wrote:

Your example of the school exactly illustrates your point. You are grossly simplifying the complex issues and problems with public school systems. Congratulations Fisherman. . . you are human just like the rest of us!

Well I'd be the first to admit I'm as flawed as anyone. I'd like to think my example was "an example" and not a pronouncement -- but you may be right! :unsure:

You wrote:

I think that this problem becomes less of a problem when people are are educated and experienced in their particular fields... A little knowledge is very dangerous, but someone who takes time to become an expert (with an open mind of course) can rise above this tendency.

Yes and no. I've seen an awful lot of "herd mentality" among "the professional classes." And while I hold enormous respect for learning and have a pretty fair exposure to academic circles, I'm not sure the well educated are particularly immune. I've certainly know PhD's who believe their mental acumen in a narrow field translates into superior judgement "across the board" -- it doesn't.

But then, that's your point, "a little knowledge is dangerous" and my Phd friends have mistaken knowledge in one area for universal knowledge.

On the whole, I do agree with you -- but for this reason: Education and experience often makes us aware of what we don't know. When education teaches us to differentiate our strengths and weaknesses (and honor the strengths and weaknesses of others) the result is pretty impressive. And, of course, the intellectual agility gained in one area makes it easier to gain knowledge in another.

To my mind, the critical factor is hubris. When ego clouds discernment even the best education is no protection. The best minds across history have too often made grievous decisions. Wisdom comes with learning and respecting how limited our intelligence truly is. Unfortunately, it usually requires a fair number of mistakes and failures before we come to grips with that.

Thanks again,

fisherman
 
Last edited:

fisherman

Patron with Honors
Zinj,

I agree with every word you wrote, in substance and in tenor. :thumbsup:

To an extent I was kidding, in a Swiftian way. But, I went to catholic schools until college and my son went to both catholic and public schools. And I've also returned to college 3 times since, so have some idea of the 'evolution' of american education.

As with most evolutions, some good some bad. That part of the evolution which emphasizes a broader concern for the individual student has been a valuable step forward. That part which has reduced expectations and relaxed standards is not. IMO, legitimate private schools are often better at raising the bar and pulling weaker students up to their potential.

There are always 'good teachers', but one of the *best* aspects of private catholic schools was that the teachers were *not* credentialed. They were paid less, but, we had a very well balanced mixture of excellent people who were teaching for a *while*; rather than as a career. And, I was lucky that many of the priests/nuns I ran into were also excellent teachers. No doubt some weren't, but, on average they were superior to those in public education. By the 80s, I would say that public education had become merely a factory situation, run by the unions for the *administrators* and the teachers who's primary career goal was to *become* an administrator. The 'students' were merely a raw material that was unavoidable to the career goal.

This is the crux of the problem and I couldn't agree more. The schools where I've done assistant teaching were strangled by *administrative* priorities.

An example: I joined a group of local professionals in starting a team of in-school tutors to help students who were falling behind. Those student's performance rose dramatically and the "good teachers" loved us because we enabled them to cover more curriculum. Lubricating the system in this way raised the bar for all students and was a "win, win" all around.

Unfortunately, the career administrators and the *not good teachers* perceived us as a threat. We were "disposed of without sorrow." Can you guess on what basis? We were not "credentialed." Our tutoring team included an architect and an engineer who were deemed incompetent to assist with elementary math homework! :angry:

There are a vast number of ways to improve public schools that are positively stultified by the corporative career objectives of the parties you identified.

The focus of a school should be teaching and not the advancement of bureaucrats.

That's said somewhat simply, but as a generalization it's generally true.

Yes, it most certainly is.

A voucher program would almost certainly result in an overall improvement and reduction in 'administration', smaller classes and better educated teachers with less of an 'educated in' ideology.

I would have opposed this view vehemently -- until I started working in our public schools. Now I agree wholeheartedly, not because I think it's the *best* approach, but because it's the ONLY viable approach! :angry:

Installing better management would be more immediately effective and more economical, but I now see this as impossible. The administrative and career interests you identify are entrenched, town officials are politically motivated and/or hamstrung by the state, state government too remote, federal mandates impinge on the whole, school boards are timid and often powerless, parents are gullible, disinterested, or simply overburdened.

In our area, there is simply no leadership entity. No "hands on" leadership to get a grip on the specific problems that are often different from school to school. Yes, you are right, they run it like a factory. Or more succinctly, like a divisional factory in a multi-national corporation trying to satisfy disparate and often competing interests.

A voucher system is very likely the ONLY way to explode this horrendous perpetual motion machine. Sadly, an awful lot of good will be destroyed along with the bad. I wouldn't have said this before spending several years in our school system and I regret that it does seem the only option.

Charter Schools are wonderful, but also stuck within the same old system that's dedicated to keeping them as a small 'alternative'.

Yes, you are right. Many saw charter schools as a middle path and a means to get the ball rolling. In our area charter schools are popular and they have forced the public schools to ratchet up a notch. But ultimately, they are subject to the "old system" and in danger of becoming it. Here again, a voucher system may be the only way to mitigate that. I wish it weren't so.

Thanks for your compelling comments!

fisherman
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
Well I'd be the first to admit I'm as flawed as anyone. I'd like to think my example was "an example" and not a pronouncement -- but you may be right! :unsure:

Regarding the school example: Sorry about that -- you did get me there. . . I stomped around the house for awhile muttering before I had to take that one up. But I do understand that you were just trying to illustrate your point with an example . . . and that your meaning was that people get stuck seeing what they want to see and not looking at all the possibilities. I got that. . . had you used a different example I would have been totally OK with it. . . .I actually did get your point.

It's just such a button for me, and I'm not directing this at you personally . .. now I just need to get it off my chest. . . people do not respect school administrators . . . .I don't think they understand what they are responsible for; their decisions are so public that it's easy to criticize them (of course nobody knows the whole story, nor the restraints and parameters, laws, board directives etc. . . ) it's very fun to think you're smarter than the powers that be, and administrators get to play the role of whipping boy and scapegoat in addition to the other expectations. That's part of the job, but it just irks me to no end to listen to people spout off about stuff they know nothing about. In a large city near us they keep firing Supes for not raising test scores in 2 years . . . .anybody with half a brain knows that such a thing requires long range change, but nobody wants to look at the long term vision of a district, and read the research and decide if they like where a school district is going . . that's way too much work. "Let's just fire the supe instead . . . .we'll get someone from the business world. . .yeah . . that's it . . . business people know how to run things efficiently. . . yeah, all we need is new leadership. . . .if things aren't perfect in 2 years we'll complain and get a military guy . . . "

I just see it so much -- everyone went to school so they think they know all about how to run one . . . and that they have the magic bullet answer to turn everything around. I guarantee there is no such thing. There is exciting research being done that is heading things in a better direction, and committed educators are working their tails off to get that done. But you can't do it in 2 or 3 years. . . test scores are the culmination of a child's upbringing . . elementary instruction from years ago, parental support and resources, demographics and culture, . . . you can't suddenly make a kid smarter in 3 years because some guy at the top makes a decision. . . it takes MUCH more than an new curriculum and any Supe knows that. It takes paradigm shifts on the part of educators, and parents to even make new initiatives have a chance of succeeding. . . . and people tend to be stuck in how it was when they went to school . . . and most of them liked it that way and want to go back to that, so there's a great deal of resistance to change. It's a long slow process. Not mention the legislation, government mandates, community expectations, A school is SO much more complicated than a business. . . you can't run it by the same model for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that you are dealing with children . . .and parents. . . and human needs for nurturing, encouragement, And private schools do well, but they don't have to accept low level kids or behavior problems and aren't mandated to use resources to educate everyone . . . .of course they can be more successful on their test scores. . . you have the problem of teachers unions supporting bad teachers . . . a Supe can do NOTHING about that) I actually could write a book about this so I'll stop now.

I know many administrators and teachers. By and large they are the best people I know -- they care about kids, they work hard, they understand people and work well within the emotional framework of the parent/child bond, and within the vested interest that community members have in the school, the public nature of the job and criticism that comes from that. . . both warranted and unwarranted. Believe me a school administrator could make double the money in the private sector with the skill set that they have, and they wouldn't have to be out 3-4 evenings a week in the public eye taking criticism from every tom, dick and harry with an opinion. They do it because they want to make a difference for kids. Yes, I know there are exceptions, but it would be so nice to see them appreciated once in a while.

You just pushed a button for me that gets pushed on a daily basis in the real world where I have to bite my tongue. So, thanks for giving me a chance to vent. :) I do feel better, actually.

Yes and no. I've seen an awful lot of "herd mentality" among "the professional classes." And while I hold enormous respect for learning and have a pretty fair exposure to academic circles, I'm not sure the well educated are particularly immune. I've certainly know PhD's who believe their mental acumen in a narrow field translates into superior judgement "across the board" -- it doesn't.

But then, that's your point, "a little knowledge is dangerous" and my Phd friends have mistaken knowledge in one area for universal knowledge.

Yes, I've seen that too. . . .

On the whole, I do agree with you -- but for this reason: Education and experience often makes us aware of what we don't know. When education teaches us to differentiate our strengths and weaknesses (and honor the strengths and weaknesses of others) the result is pretty impressive. And, of course, the intellectual agility gained in one area makes it easier to gain knowledge in another.

WELL said!!

To my mind, the critical factor is hubris. When ego clouds discernment even the best education is no protection. The best minds across history have too often made grievous decisions. Wisdom comes with learning and respecting how limited our intelligence truly is. Unfortunately, it usually requires a fair number of mistakes and failures before we come to grips with that.

Thanks again,

fisherman

"As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."
Socrates

This was a brilliant post Fisherman; You've got this thing thought through and communicate it very well. . . . thanks.

-TL

Re: the Simon and Garfunkel line . . . . here it is performed just last year in Madison Square Garden . . .these guys are just classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky57Jo3-BaU
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
Really enjoyed your whole post to Zinj . . . you made some great points. . . but I do want to take up this point:

school boards are timid and often powerless,

Not all of them. Boards by their nature, if not monitored by the voting populace, can attract just the kind of "One Event" people that are the subject of this thread, and hubris you mentioned in a later post. Remember, by design (I won't speculate here on the quality of that design), school boards are lay people. Usually they don't know education, often are incapable of understanding, or not interested in the complexities of that field, and are on the board because they don't like a coach or thought their kid got disciplined to harshly. The temptation to micromanage is always there, particularly when egos get involved, and without a strong board president to continually guide them back to their roles as policy makers it can get ugly. A dysfunctional board can hold a school district hostage . . . and while the community knows "something" is wrong . . because they don't understand the point the finger at the easiest target . . the Supe. Again, that's part of the job. . . you just deal with it, but a Supe can't direct the board. They are his/her boss. If they want to be stupid, the Supe has to take it, and often takes the fall for bad board decisions.

There are very few professions where a person's direct supervisors are not educated or experienced in the field, and they tend to evaluate the supe on things they understand like student discipline or if the grounds look nice. It makes it very difficult to get anything done in terms of educational improvement when the board is only interested in discipline issues, who gets playing time, or whether the football team is winning, or the pet issues of their friends. . . . . or worse in the "power" of their position to boss around and bad-mouth administration, teachers, coaches . . . ..

A good board knows their role, and is willing to hire administration they respect and then work with them, not against them.

I really wish communities knew how terribly important school boards are.

I saw an interesting study recently that showed that the success of the supe is directly related to 3 things . . first and foremost the board, specifically with duration of time served of the average board member in that district (in other words, experience, education, commitment), good boards have successful supes. . . (second communication, third financial management, in case that's of interest to you).

OK. . .I'm done for a while. . . thanks for letting me vent again!
 
Top