2020 SOTU Part VIII – Education Review

State of the Union (SOTU): Backdrop Part VIII – Education Update. Original posting date was January 24, 2017. Updates of selected parts of the SOTU, with emphasis on current observations, will be posted as the review continues.

Background:

Part VIII – Education – 2017: Areas of the review include subjects of interest to educators:

  1. Charter Schools
  2. Office of Educational Technology
  3. National Education Technology Plan
  4. Office of Educational Technology Publications
  5. GoOpen and INFORM Journeys
  6. PISA – Programme Review for International Student Achievement

Comments:

Part VIII – Education: Review presents a logical sequence of events for school districts to develop standardized course syllabi for a complete district, thereby conserving administration and teacher resources. The Office of Educational Technology, and the Plan, provide access to free licensed educational software available from several major publishers.

PISA – Programme for International Student Achievement, provides outcomes of student assessment for a standard set of courses by cooperating schools worldwide. The report indicates that U.S. fifteen-year-olds are holding steady in reading and science performance (meaning average), and below average in math, ranking in 38th position worldwide.

U.S. expenditure for education is 4.5 percent of GDP, the highest of all nations.

Comparative cost of providing education between schools worldwide indicates the U.S. has the highest percentage of GDP expended, however, the outcome is not indicative of high-quality for costs incurred.

Information contained in the above references raise the question of quality of student learning. Overall, U.S. high school graduates appear to be unprepared to compete with their international counterparts.

Alliance for Excellent Education: Source supporting education decision-making by administrators, teachers, and parents. Subject categories are:

  1. Take Action – Pressing issues in education.
  2. Current Issues – Accountability, assessment, college, and career-ready standards, linked learning and more.
  3. Webinars & Events – Future ready librarians, cybersecurity, School-to-community partnerships and more.
  4. Available Publications – Reports & Fact Sheets, implementation of federal and national policies, high school reform, increasing student achievement, and the Federal Flash five-minute video series on education policy in Washington DC.
  5. State Data – State by state data on reading proficiency, high school graduation rates, four-year college graduation rates, common core and more.
  6. Observations indicate that COVID 19 is impacting the ability of schools in K-12, and higher education to offer on-campus classes.

Comment:

Alliance for Excellent Education provides several information reports, supporting resources, and the economic impact of high school graduation.

State Data should be of particular interest to decision-makers. Analyzing data state by state creates a more focused path toward better solutions. Data provide a base from which to make and implement plans for improvement of outcomes.

COVID 19 impact on education, which prior to the event, was providing unsatisfactory outcomes. Off campus and online teaching and student learning may not be a satisfactory approach for all students. Some may excel, however, many more may have even lower outcomes.

Online Resources – School districts can choose from a list of course planning, and review offerings. Many are free while others are available at nominal cost:

  1. Google Meet, – Teaching and administration
  2. Microsoft Teams – Chat, meetings, calling and collaboration
  3. Zoom – Video and web conferencing

The challenge for school districts, teachers, and students is having the necessary hardware, networks, software resources, and ability to use them effectively.

Part VIII – Education Update 2020: Competition in Computer Science and Engineering.

Forward:

IIT Bombay: The school system is an example of a Technical Education Factory. Established in 1958, with assistance of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is a large campus with 584 major buildings on a 550-acre setting.

IIT Bombay was developed with Funding provided by Russia. (Wikipedia – refer to the History section).

IIT Bombay is a major competitor of U.S. Programs. The programs are intense, and their graduates are highly prized by U.S., European, and Asian  companies. International companies provide current products to the students for engineering experience under program grants.

Primary offerings are engineering, pure sciences, design, management, and humanities with a primary focus on engineering.

Research and Development is conducted by students and faculty in thrust areas of science and engineering. The institute has ongoing academic and research collaborations with many national and international universities, governments, and industries. Research Park.

Initially, the university was a member of “Links to Asia by Organizing Traineeship and Student Exchange” (LAOTSE). Currently the system has Mou’s with an international network of leading universities, exchanging students and senior scholars worldwide.

IIT BombayX: Offers free online courses as a member of the worldwide edX online system, including Virtual Engineering Labs

International competition is advanced. The example of IIT Bombay sets a high hurdle to achieve:

  • Faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students live on campus in residences provided by the university.
  • Schools for the family, stores, hospitals, and entertainment venues are on campus.
  • Freshmen study in the open classroom environment.
  • Sophomores begin to teach freshmen as teaching assistants. Additionally, they are encouraged to work with commercial entities as interns during the year.
  • During the junior and senior year, students begin research and contracting with commercial organizations.
  • All fields of engineering live together in an incubator environment. Math, physics, chemistry, electrical, electronic, mechanical, and more.
  • International companies prefer to hire from these universities. It is not so much the salaries they pay them. It is the knowledge and experience with company products and services they bring to the organization.

It should be no surprise, that the world is experiencing a “war of digital proportions.” International companies paid them to have the capability.

Brief Summary:

  1. A dichotomy exists between educational systems of the U.S. and IIT Bombay. The U.S. has the highest cost of all other countries for education, 4.5% of GDP, and ranks in 38th position for outcomes internationally.
  2. Consistently, educators say more money will improve outcomes. Where is the evidence?
  3. Program design at IIT Bombay focuses intensely on the profession.
  4. U.S. programs devote up to a year and half for humanities and social science courses.
  5. At IIT Bombay, with minor exceptions, incoming students complete these courses at the lower level prior to applying for admission to the university.
  6. IIT Bombay includes a strong academic, research and industry relationship for students.
  7. Publish or perish has been strongly criticized, as emphasis on publishing may decrease the value of resulting scholarship, as scholars must spend more time scrambling to publish whatever they can get into print.
    • Additionally, it leads to diversion of effort, resulting in courses taught by unsupervised teaching assistants.
    • At IIT Bombay, students in the second year begin to teach under the supervision of highly qualified faculty.
  8. Teachers must demonstrate progress on moving to more difficult schools and curriculum throughout their career.
  9. Teaching tenth grade algebra as a career is not the best use of resources.
  10. Improving teacher quality is especially important. U.S. schools are focusing on the now, not planning.
  11. Teacher’s degree, certification, preparation, and professional development do not guarantee outcomes.
  12. Class size varies. Higher degree of success is frequently achieved in countries with large class size.
  13. U.S. places too much emphasis on faculty evaluation by students. Most countries evaluate faculty via student outcomes, the quality approach.
  14. U.S. teachers have too many out-of-class activities which do not lend to student learning.
  15. Charter Schools can be a solution for removing the handicap U.S. education has in improving outcomes for students.
    • Current models for managing and administering schools, teachers and students originate at federal and state levels of government.
    • This approach creates an inflexible model which places a ceiling on growth and excellence by establishing manage-to and teach-to values.
    • It is the same problem industry had thirty years ago regarding quality of products. Focus on the process to improve the product at the process level, the classroom and school.
  16. Students learn and score higher when traditional methods are used.
  17. Open classrooms and technology can be used, however, must support structured learning to objectives with the teacher in control.
  18. Student success improves when involved in apprentice programs with industry while attending school.
  19. Student success increases with more time on the subject for deeper learning to solve complex problems.
  20. U.S. teaches in a circular model, coming back to the subject at varying times in the curriculum rather than extended time on subject.

Site Review: July 2020

Google Meet to be used for the site review. Dev Team review to establish purpose of the site:
  1. Site Name - Looking for a short and catchy URL.
  2. Topics to be used as Categories for postings.
  3. Color schemes, and images.
  4. Outside links to useful resources.
  5. Microsoft Teams has an online meeting application.
Comparison between Google Meet and Microsoft Teams for closed captioning.

Review Comments:

The following comments are for a brief test of the Free version of Google Meet which is excellent for basic functions and small groups.

Google Meet online video communication tool for small groups is a nice application. It functions well, however, the size of the screen is important. For large groups, the instructors station will benefit when it is linked to a television set used as a monitor. The larger the monitor the better the visibility and interaction between students and the instructor.  The Mail application also functions well for small groups.

Closed Captioning is highly functional. Delay time between speech and text display is minimum. A test using a television news program in the background, every word was displayed with correct spelling and grammar. Excellent.

Comparing Google Meet and Microsoft Teams reveals a basic difference. Google Meet is a creative suite of applications for individual personalities. Microsoft Teams is more structured as a business suite.

Thank You Google.

What Is It – Or – Whatsit

Whatsit is a metaphorical image offering researchers an opportunity to speculate on meanings from the distant past, to beyond the imagineable future. Select the image and drill-down. Does it lead to an outcome or is it representative of activities of a political nature, no knowledge of the past, yet critical of the present, lacking in information, knowledge and wisdom. What does the image represent? Star Wars and alien spacecraft, insults hurled at a burning world? Is there a correct and static answer?

Deep State Logic

Mystery of Deep State Logic:

Legal requirements are initially information and only learned when experienced through practice. With sufficient practice, knowledge becomes wisdom and foresight. To the uninformed and inexperienced, the term deep state reflects a mythical state functioning within a conspiracy theory.

Deep State may have become an overused term in reference to recent political issues and openly debated media ethics. The concept has existed and perplexed citizens of nations for centuries. Students frequently learn requirements of their profession through storytelling by teachers and professors.

Storytelling is not sufficient to achieve success in any profession or trade. Students should be taught how to ask and research questions, interpret and apply the norms, requirements and specifications of the products and services of their profession.

Critical Thinking has become the internal component taught in education courses to establish a lifelong pattern of learning and problem solving. Deep state logic of education is applied in broad general terms.

Graduates experience deep state logic (legal requirements) covering human resources, working hours, dress code, performance measurements, and more during indoctrination classes within their new organization. Many companies and organizations are sufficiently large to have personnel assigned to individual departments with responsibilities for these areas. However, in many small businesses and organizations, responsibilities for all of these requirements may be managed by a single employee. The smaller the organization, the more difficult it becomes for assigned personnel to be familiar, and comply with the requirements.

As employees are promoted to the position of supervisor, manager, department head, vice president and CEO levels, deep state legal requirements increase in breadth and complexity. In addition to general requirement areas students learn through education. Many professions must achieve certification and licensing during employment and state or federal exam as: auditors, accountants, doctors, educators, engineers, lawyers, law enforcement, researchers, writers, and more.

Although certification or licensing is required by many professions, personnel employed by large organizations that have a certified or licensed “direct” supervisor responsible for the work of employees may have non-certified or unlicensed personnel assigned to them.

When personnel have achieved knowledge, wisdom and foresight at their current employment level, they are either promoted within, or leave the organization for a new career. Planning for the change is valuable to the employee and employer for stability of their careers and the organization.

Deep State (Merriam-Webster Dictionary): An alleged secret network of especially non-elected government officials and sometimes private entities (as in the financial services and defense industries) operating extra-legally to influence and enact government policy.

Deep State (Wikipedia Dictionary): A deep state (from Turkish: derin devlet), also known as a state within a state, is a form of clandestine government made up of hidden or covert networks of power operating independently of a state’s political leadership, in pursuit of their own agenda and goals. Examples include organs of state, such as the armed forces or public authorities (intelligence agencies, police, secret police, administrative agencies, and government bureaucracy).

Compounding the mystery of the Deep State are the tens of thousands of construction requirements, material standards and specifications, building and environmental laws, inspection and licensing requirements for facilities and factories, farming, food, infrastructure (bridges, roads, railways, airlines, pipelines, power grids, etc…), entertainment, gaming, wildlife sanctuaries, clothing, medicine and more.

It is virtually impossible to find anything that is not covered by a written standard or specification. There are standards and specifications for the air breathed in the general environment, in the home, in the hospital, and at work and more. There are differing standards and specifications for materials depending on the location they are used.

All the standards and specifications, and laws are created by industry committees, professional societies, government organizations and international governments. Many creative activities require local, state and federal permits and environmental studies. Recently, space exploration has received increased emphasis and will require international coordination.

Professional employees and trades personnel perceive they have an unmanageable number of requirements to comply with and consider this in total, the Deep State.

Terms: Requirements, standards, specifications, permits, license, etc., documents are essentially written in contract law and referred to as “boilerplate language.” Conforming to them is required and establishes a contract between two parties, where the terms and conditions of the contract are set by one of the parties, and the other party has little or no ability to negotiate more favorable terms and is thus placed in a “take it or leave it” position. Documents form a contract between business(s)/government and can be a few, several hundred, and multiple volumes thousands of pages in length. Boilerplate (Bing.com)