How to Understand how to Improve Outcomes in Your School



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Edward Deming

From pre-school to higher education we have been both officially and unofficially held to expected outcomes by our communities who uphold the value of education. Throughout the ages of school improvement it has always been an inherent mission for schools is to educate students to be better than they were. When asking this question of being better than they were or can we truthfully measure our outcomes to measure our school attenders and employees that they are succeeding to achieve at their true potential. When we walk the halls and view classrooms or sit in on an online course what is the measure that the teacher is reaching their full potential or are the students being an realizing an opportunity to move closer to their potential? Schools have often accepted redundant teaching methods over the years and produced lesson plans that have been the same way for many years. When our student audience has changed over the years our teaching approaches now needed to adapt to the learning styles and values of our society.

It is a proven fact that giving grades for our students is without a doubt is a very subjective measure to predict and show competencies accomplished. Very little is measured from a skills perspective for skill in a competency at the conclusion of any term. We can extend this weakness to how we give opportunities for the educators to improve their potential by improving instruction. The measures of instruction fit into the same class as our student measures which is very subjective. As we look at these glaring facts our schools at all levels of for-profit, non-profit, private and sectarian are influenced by government regulations focusing on these old outdated forms of measurement. Our states are using standardized testing for measuring the success of their resident students. When we should be looking for improvement, we are looking at a standards established for only those that could meet the artificial targets. Improvement starts with a baseline and a build from there.

I am sure many of you remember the movie “Money Ball” with Brad Pitt as the general manager of a professional baseball team. This was a story of an actual team who relied on results to improve the team outcomes with success. The data were pointed at the key targets to make baseline improvement of the team. Measurement dictates a process for improving outcomes. The baseball team proceeded to an ultimate outcome of success. If we can use the premise of process by using data we too can have success in our schools.

Schools and colleges making these adjustments will offer to all their stakeholders visible growth by allowing for participants to move to higher potentials. By making these process changes outcomes are not subjective but measuring validated targets after the improvement of learning.

If you have any interest in making this change I have the process used now for eight years that makes the data work for you. Process is key to success in any organization. Process was the key to improving industry by a famous industrial consultant who rebuilt Japan after World War II. Dr. Edward Deming.

Process Steps

Surprisingly Schools have not did much to capitalize on this process. Research coming forth now may change this practice in our academic centers.


Edward Deming

Change for the future

It is certain that by establishing the correct target by using data and analytics with schools in any environment or culture can improve. GRCARLSON INC. are here to help you make the transition.


Process in action with coaching for faculty, teacher and instructor improvement.






When Education Forgot Left or Right


No Child Left Behind“, which is a confession there must be children left behind. The entire program was developed on conformity and a linear process of learning and not taking into account the learning dynamics. The more our children exhibit right brain behavior the linear education system provides for testing to determine what might be wrong with the child. When the only disease they may have is called childhood.

Education Methods and Materials History, prior to the 19th century organizations and government involvement was minimal in public education. What happen in the 19th century in America? Quite simply it was the rapid growth of the industrial revolution. As public schools were instituted across America our schools curriculum were related to the business model. This model has changed very little up to today. Education was viewed under compliance and citizens becoming marketable to industry. Our system of education became linear and has been the same even up to today. Look for yourself at any curriculum in public schools or higher education. You will see the highest ranking importance addresses the student attenders with rankings for math and science as first, second humanities and third the arts.  Looking at this opportunity  students who may have right brain dominance would be in trouble. Our curriculum focuses in the heads of our students primarily on the left brain of importance. Arts are depicted as extra curricular activities by our schools and become a great experiences for future hobbies. While our high schools continually mind craft our students to be a production line to colleges and universities. Parents are continually presented with orientations on how great the high school is to prepare their child for college. Colleges and Universities often are the only schools invited to present in these high schools leaving out the trades, vocations and arts. This makes sense when your curriculum roadmap is towards higher education. Our lack of transparency of the left brain, right brain hemispheres that are connected to each other results in a limited education for students who don’t fit. Our attention for our life long learning in America needs to become more from an agricultural philosophy where we allow students to discover their strengths organically so they may take the path of a career they may love.

Today’s professional or worker who has experienced a linear education found themselves fitting into an economy where they were led to believe where they could make the best living by going to college. Research today shows that going to college may not be the best avenue for our students preparing in k-12 or higher education. When speaking with our nation workers many have explained how they have not liked their job and really can’t wait until they retire. Yet, there is a smaller group who have found the job they loved and have no intention of ever stepping away from what they love. These individuals are fortunate in that they have found organically what really fits their heart and soul.

Where does this take us: It is time where there needs to be a serious look at the curriculum. Instructional design cannot be looked at as no child left behind that doesn’t fix anything with the linear form of education we are promoting. It is imperative to recognize the human body and brain and how we prepare students for lives which they will enjoy using the talents they have been inherently born with. Discovery and focus by schools to help encourage and promote students into what organically has been given to them.  Educators must begin to understand that the body isn’t just the transporter of the head but as humans we have interest in all the different senses and how they relate to our life. It has been a tragedy for the treatment of the students who have experienced their schools closing that were focusing on the curriculums of left brain students. Innovation is often hard in that it doesn’t appear to be part of the norm. Trade schools, career schools, art schools, music schools encouraged the students who had the motivation to seek out educations that fit their left brain tendencies. For those who made those decisions for the right reasons had a higher odds of being happy.

If you are an educational leader you will need to address this phenomenon hopefully before it is not to late. Schools are in need of change. We are in an education revolution. Let your destiny be yours by making the changes to offer the most appropriate educational programs by understanding your new student generations.

I have included an article that expresses just one niche of supply and demand recognition that should awaken our cognitive thoughts.

Innovations that meet the needs for the future.




Credentials for the Future


Jobs Over 55,000 Dollars a Year?


city new york statue of liberty usa

There is lots of rhetoric about jobs, education and employers needs. Gallup has recently completed a research study. addressing many of the questions now being asked by high school graduates and  non-traditional students. Gallup is a well-known research organization that has proved some hypothesis and disapproved others. Their excellence has been put to the test by business corporations, political science, medicine, psychology and host of other inquiries. By Gallup accepting this challenge they have put a light of knowledge into the actual facts of what exist in the United States today. I would encourage educators, politicians and employers to read the Gallup study so the truth of the matter can be communicated and used to improve our needs and fill the gaps. Enclosed you will read the entire study. Be sure to share this with other colleagues and friends.

There is a need and it is time to address it through appropriate programs which lead to success for our students.


Education and Employer Demands

adult auto automobile body

What are the Skills of the Future Demands?

Once upon a time the platform of education appeared to be forthright and not complex. Our generational changes with employers, attitudes, aptitudes, demands and societal expectations has classroom dynamics  becoming a balancing act to know and provide the needs for the future expectations. Trends in our society have direct effects on our instructional goals, materials, delivery and demands. Forbes magazine recently published and article that explain educational trends that will revolutionize the work-place in 2019.

three education trends that will revolutionize the workplace in 2019

How Does Industry See the Shortage

What is our next step in filling the skilled worker gaps in the United States. Without debate about the for-profit schools who had thousands of students in the middle of studying for entry level positions in the skilled labor market we need answers for 2019. As each one of these schools have disappeared their student hopes and dreams have dissipated. Some schools had little or any teach-out capability because the lack of funds after trying to keep their institution alive. The leaders of the demise of the trade schools prided themselves on what they had done for the tax payers but failed to give any recourse with the effects to the community and employers and students.

One pronounced benefit to the student was that their federal loans could be forgiven. What did that mean in the long run. They could not transfer their credits to another institution. They would have to start all over again. New student loans all over again. If they didn’t take the forgiveness on the loan they could attempt to transfer their credits to another institution. Some congressional leaders had placed such a black eye on for-profit schools transfer of credits were next to impossible.  Future longterm efforts will be needed to restore this lack of workforce in the United States.

There is a difference in traditional and non-traditional education. The trade experiences focus on the cognitive, tactile, auditory and visual aspects of education to perform finished projects and goals. What we are hearing across America is no secret. Our trade school students are not graduating fast enough or at all to fill the gaps. Who was thinking about this when we put thousands of potential graduates on the streets with their teachers?

2019, needs to be the challenge to you the tax payers and employers to ask your congressman and senators on how we get out of the shortage that has been created. Where are the electricians, plumbers, heating and air conditioning, information technology, carpenters, automotive technicians, allied health, welders, culinary, robotics, and many more will come from in the future.

If you might think this is not a huge problem all you need to do is ask people in the professions who are employers and ask them if there is not a great shortage. Those who had criticized the career schools should have asked the employers where they hired their employees from in the skilled worker categories. These were motivated student graduates who were ready to start at an entry level and work up the ladder.

America has a bigger job of rebuilding rather than destroying options for these students.

I have added some interesting journal articles who relate to this serious shortage.


Who’s Fault is It and Who Cares

grey metal hammer

A Process Dilemma

Our ongoing saga of career schools plight are continuing. I know some of you have inherently have had the frustrations of  an attitude of you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I recall that when the auto industry or insurance industry was at its bitter end and were ready for bankruptcy government supplanted needs with life blood support. They then continued by what we titled a “bailout”. 

Schools are a different story! No bailouts, definite bankruptcy and the inability to recover for the student body and the tax payers.

Who do we blame? The direction of blame has been pointed in many directions of government, accreditors, schools, state agencies, U.S. Department of Education to name just a few. Steve Gunderson, President and CEO for Career Education Colleges and Universities has written a very astute response to these troublesome times for this time in our history. As an educator for forty-eight years I applaud his direct response to these deplorable events with little care for the students attempting to better their lives with education. 

Thank you Steve Gunderson!

Please see Steve’s article:

Focus on the Students When a College Closes

To help manage career college closures and protect students, Steve Gunderson backs a proposal for the sector to fund a new federal coordinating office.


Steve Gunderson

December 18, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education imposes the highest level of cash management, known as HCM2. That means a college — with little or no cash — must first pay out of its own funds the disbursement to students and then later submit requests for reimbursement to the department.

Then the accreditor suspends or withdraws the college’s accreditation. A college still maintains its accreditation during the time given to appeal such action. If they appeal, the accreditation exists during the length of the appeal process. There is time to manage an orderly closure of a school. But certain steps must occur — such as filing that appeal.

In this case, the college then abruptly closes, leaving 19,000 students — some close to graduation — on the street with nowhere to finish their current academic programs.

Here’s the problem. Everyone will tell you the students are their focus. But the process doesn’t bring together the different parties to create a contingency plan that protects the students and their education. Teach-out plans are not teach-out agreements. In many conversations between the college, the department, the state agency and the accreditor, full collaboration simply breaks down.

So who is at fault? The department? The state agency? The accreditor? The college? To be honest, who cares? The result remains the same — students and taxpayers are being harmed.

In Education Corporation of America’s situation, different people have different perspectives on both what happened and who is to blame. Over time we may figure out the real answer. But our immediate focus must be on keeping students in their studies.

The department might be the right place for this to happen, using experienced professionals who both understand the dynamics and the multiple roles and regulations impacting sales, transfers or teach-outs. Certainly, one or possibly more accreditors must be involved. State agencies must be involved. But the department, using various triggers such as show-cause notices or HCM2 financial arrangements, needs the tools to step in and manage a school’s closure in ways that best serve all interests, starting with the students’ continuing education.

Abrupt school closures are the for-profit career college sector’s worst nightmare. The closed college is done. But every remaining college in our sector must deal with the reputational hit of an abrupt closure — in this case a closure covering 20 different states.

Two years ago, a task force including over 70 of our sector’s best minds combined their work to produce a comprehensive proposal for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The entire document and all its recommendations were approved by our Board of Directors and shared with the U.S. Congress and the department.

No working group within this task force displayed more urgency, frustration and creativity than those working on the issue of school closures. These school leaders wanted to find a collaborative way to work with the department, the states, the accreditors and adjacent colleges to keep every student in class. They wanted to change the focus from regulating a challenged college out of business to helping students.

In what might seem unusual in today’s political climate, we recommended Congress and the department consider a $5 per student fee each year on every proprietary college to fund a new Office of Continuing Education Services. This new office would have one mission — to work with challenged institutions in ways that continue the education of the innocent students they enroll in the event of a closure.

Today there does not exist within the department specific professionals or specific authority to work with students and college to continue the current education of these students. This office would be given explicit authority to engage with schools, convene appropriate meetings and work with accreditors, state licensing agencies and other schools with the primary — if not exclusive — focus of continuing education services to the students.

The department and the college’s accreditor should both be empowered to convene a working group among responsible parties to develop a managed closure and transition that keeps every student in class and on a path toward their professional credential. If one doesn’t, then the other can. Our proposal for an Office of Continuing Education Services is for it to host experienced professionals with know-how and all the right contacts to ensure a smooth transition. Think of how the FDIC manages a transition in a failed bank — professionals come in and achieve the transition to new ownership without any interruption in the customer’s reliance on the bank for their financial services.

Enrollment in our sector for 2016-17 was projected at 2,302,480 students. This enrollment would produce $11.5 million in the first year for a federal Office of Continuing Education Services. This proposed funding stream represents a financial and moral commitment by college leaders in our sector to solve this problem. Every institution has the right to make an appropriate business decision. But we must find better ways to handle this process, most importantly because we need to find ways to protect students’ ability to complete their education when their college shuts down.

The current system clearly is not sufficient for preventing challenged colleges from becoming closed ones. Our sector is ready to fund an effort to jointly develop solutions that keep students from being harmed. Otherwise, this nightmare will repeat itself again in the future.


Steve Gunderson is president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities. He previously served 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin.



If Your School Closes

Students across the country have been facing some heart breaking news when their school of choice has closed. Questions of financial aid, transfer of credits, graduation, past graduate questions and more to come for these victims of a dream being thwarted. The U.S Department of Education has put up a website to answer some of these questions. Please share with students and schools.

Student Government Help