Looking at the High School as a System - This is a chart to help you examine the statement “there is only one real customer—the individual who chooses to pursue an education” (More). Using the explanations below the chart for the callouts (such as ), how is the system working for those pursuing an education and all the other customers?

 

 

Customers (Users, Clients, Stakeholders) and Issues

Storefront

Retail

…

High School

Education

Details in the News about High School Education (Click here to go the sources of these quotations.)

Higher

Education

 

1. Customer as user?

Shopper

 

Student

 

Student



a. Commitment by the user?

a. Almost always

 

a. Varies

“majority of Texas districts have policies mandating minimum grades — typically a 50” (ended by TEA)

a. Varies

b. Preparation of the user?

b. Almost always

 

b. Varies

b. Varies

c. User as part of product?

c. If focus groups

 

c. Almost always

c. Almost always

 

2. Customer as who pays?

Shopper

 

Student, parents

70% of parents -“things ‘are fine as they are now.’”

Student, parents

 

3. Customer who may help to pay the bill?

Varies

 

Almost always taxpayers

 

Almost always taxpayers

 

4. Customer as creator of the product/service

Business owner; vendors

 

Mixed—teachers, testing, vendors, districts, SBOE

“Driving a No. 2 pencil into the heart of testing monster”

Almost always faculty

‚

5. Customer as the field of knowledge behind the product/service?

Never

 

Mixed—teachers, testing, vendors, districts, SBOE

“SBOE determines what millions of students learn in public schools”

 

For professors, almost always their disciplines

 

6. Customer as the regulator (such as a certifier, accreditor, or standards organization)?

Regulators - BBB

 

Mixed—testing, vendors, districts, SBOE, NCLB

“Education Inc. How private companies are profiting from Texas public schools”

 

Accreditors; some regulators as well

 

7. Customer as the region? 

 

 

 

 

        

‚

a. Need for qualified workers?

a. Never

 

a. Often to Always

- “Rate of Hispanic dropouts cause for waves of worry”

- “Business group joins suit over school funding”

- “…they can’t even fill out an application. They can’t spell. They can’t read and write. But yet they got this diploma.”

a. Often1 to Always2

b. Need for good jobs?

b. Never

 

b. Often to Always

b. Often1 to Always2

c. Need for safe communities?

c .Never

 

c. Often to Always

c. Often1 to Always2

d. Need for a solid tax base?

d. Never

 

d. Always

d. Always

‚

8. Customer as the nation’s economic competitiveness?

Occasionally (Walmart effect)

 

All customers above

- “Science a sore subject in U.S.”

- “Business group wants better math curriculum”

All customers above

‚

9. Customer as the nation’s decision-making in a republic?

Never

 

All customers above

Justice O’Connor – “no testing”/”no funding” - NCLB’s “unintended effect” – “squeezed out civics education”

All customers above

 

10.The product/service is

 

 

 

 

 

 

a. For short-term use?

a. Almost always

 

a. Occasionally

Same as 7

a. Occasionally

 

b. For long-term use?

b. Rarely

 

b. Almost always

b. Almost always

 

c. On-going but changing?

c. Almost always

 

c. Almost always

c. Almost always

ƒ

11. Measurement of the user as part of the product and of the product/service is?

Transparent, and the shoppers got what they wanted

 

Transparent as test numbers; in transition

- “Study: School spending tough to track”

- “Clear Lake High begins crackdown on cheaters”

Intransparent and in transition

„

12. Rewards of success go to?

Business owner

 

All customers above

“Grier says cheating inquiry on his agenda…HISD links bonuses to higher scores”

All customers above

13. Risks from failure go to?

Depends on contract, liability

 

All customers above - 1st risks to business and higher education

- “A Stronger nation through Higher Education”  but

-“The value of blue collar work” (without college)

All customers above

 


Explanations for the callouts:



What does the news show about what has happened to decrease the commitment by the user?

 

‚

What does the news show about whether we are being successful in meeting the needs of the diverse customers of high school education?

What has happened to things that we needed to “retain”—something that that Dietrich Dӧrner stresses is often overlooked when people are trying to solve problems?

ƒ

What does the news show about success in measurement?

„

How do we protect ALL customers? How do you keep rewards and risks together? When one customer gets the reward and transfers the risk to the other customers, systems break. What happening with

Cautions:  Systems get what they measure. Systems get what they reward even when they don’t want it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definitions

Term

Use of the Term in The Logic of Failure

Intransparency

Planners and decision makers … must make decisions affecting a system whose momentary features they can see only partially, unclearly, in blurred and shadowy outline¾or possibly not at all. (p. 40)

Retain

How can we avoid this pitfall? Simply by keeping in mind, whenever we undertake the solution of a problem, the features of the current situation that we want to retain. Simple? Apparently not.

 

As Brecht observed late in life, advocates of progress often have too low an opinion of what already exists. When we set out to change things, in other words, we do not pay enough attention to what we want to leave unchanged. But an analysis of what should be retained:

§         gives us our only opportunity to make implicit goals explicit

§         and to prevent the solution of each problem from generating new problems like heads of the Hydra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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