Welcome to the School Matters Foundation
What makes a great school?
A great school is an effective school.
This happens when the student is the focus of the school.
Currently, schools are planned around what is acceptable and desired by the adults who work in those schools.
This must change.
Read Chaos in Our Schools
for the whole story.
Our Model School
Curriculum that promotes reading, writing, and math skills, plus history, civics, geography, and science.
Transparency in hiring and evaluation practices.
- Teachers hired for a demonstrated ability to teach.
Cameras to monitor teacher and student performance.
- Everyone behaves better when they know they're being filmed. Just walk into any government office or bank.
Student placements that recognize ability and motivational levels.
- Social/emotional development fostered with
different groupings for non-core classes, meal
times, and recess.
Testing that makes sense.
- Current testing is more about a student's ability to navigate the online system and the convoluted way questions are asked than about basic curriculum.
Our flagship book:
Chaos in Our Schools
The provocative expose of how mismanaged our education system is. Available now on Amazon.
We can fix the problem, but we need an overhaul in how we view and manage public education.
Reading this book is a good start.
The paradigm of education has shifted over the last decade. Documentation and data collection have eclipsed teaching as the mainstay in a teacher's career.
Click on our pages to find articles and guest posts about public education in America.
What Can Fix Our Broken Schools?
This is a question that haunts most of us, at least those who are not fooling themselves into believing ALL IS OKAY...Or that all will be okay with more money and mandates.
The (elementary) public school system can be fixed when these things happen:
Class sizes are adjusted to reflect differentiated instruction. Years ago, the only thing that mattered was that a teacher delivered the necessary information and provided feedback in the form of grades. The students were responsible for absorbing that information. There was no expectation that teachers would develop individual learning plans for every student. Today, every elementary teacher is expected to do just that. Do you think it’s possible, in a classroom with a ratio of even 20:1, let alone the usual ratio of 30 or more to one?
Students are placed in classrooms according to aptitude and achievement, and their placements are fluid.
That is a non-starter with both the education elites and the teachers’ unions. Students are purposely placed in mixed groups of high, medium, and low intellects, as well as high, medium, and low behaviors. This is to make teaching equitable for the teachers, a brain child of the unions. How does this help students?
Additionally, education researchers have been claiming for years that mixed-ability groups work for all students. The gifted can help the non-gifted, and everyone wins. The trouble is that the research this comes from is conducted in controlled settings. That’s not how real classrooms work. In my experience, the gifted students languish in mixed-ability classrooms because their teacher is not trained to work especially with them. In a randomly-mixed sixth grade classroom, the levels of ability could range from first grade to eighth grade. Who could effectively teach 30 children in that scenario?
OUR LATEST VIDEO:
How Education Fails Students
Why Performance-based does not measure performance
CHAOS IN OUR SCHOOLS
From the 2022 book Chaos in Our Schools:
The Bottom Line
There’s an insidious element in education that is unnoticed by most people. Schools are not set up for the children; they are set up for the convenience of the adults who run them. If children were the top priority in a school, they would not be assigned to static class groupings without the opportunity to advance to a different group when they are ready.
If children were the top priority, the people who work with them would be seen as more important than the bureaucrats who direct those people. Class groups would not be divided into “fair” sets of upper, middle, and low aptitudes. The behavior problems would not be dispersed throughout the school so that every other child has his education seriously diminished by the outlandishness of a few.
If children were truly the reason schools exist, the ratio of adult to child would be a reasonable and realistic one.
Our schools, particularly at the elementary level, are operated with the guiding principles that
1) Procedures and standards, copiously outlined, meet the
education needs of students,
2) Children should be arranged in groupings that are
acceptable to the adults in charge.
This is nonsense, but at present, there is little that can be done to thwart these ideals because the teachers’ unions won’t allow for a sensible approach to education.
Opinions on Education
John F. Kennedy,
35th President of the United States.
Credit: Shared via Mark Cohen
"Regardless of whether it's indigenous issues, economic failures, shortages of fuel, food, or freedom of rights. It is time to learn from the past, let the negative emotions go, and make better decisions for the future."
To advance ideas and policies for the
improvement of public education.
To expose misleading or deceptive education policy.
To support underserved student populations.
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"Differentiation is a failure, a farce, and the ultimate educational joke played on countless educators and students. By having dismantled many of the provisions we used to offer kids on the edges of learning, ... we have sacrificed the learning of virtually every student."
- Dr. James Delisle, in Education Week
Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.