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The way of the world these days is for large organizations to work more efficiently, using technologies, data and goals to produce their goods and services with the least amount of drag on their operations. Management reforms are changing everything from the shop floor to the front office.
School districts have been subjected to some of these changes. Still, as large organisms, they struggle to operate with the greatest efficiencies. Putting it plainly, they often don’t get enough bang for the bucks that taxpayers invest in them. This certainly is a problem for taxpayers, but also for districts. They cannot afford inefficienciesot – not with resources for education shrinking while requirements for students are expanding.
To help improve school productivity, the George W. Bush Institute commissioned a series of scholarly papers to examine ways in which school districts and campuses can change their practices: The Productivity for Results Series. These papers focus on improving the accountability of schools. Much of the Bush Institute’s emphasis is on academic outputs, but it also includes new and better ways to operate every aspect of a school’s operations, from lunchrooms to classrooms to school buses.
Learn More about The Productivity for Results Series papers:
Governing Schools for Productivity by Paul T. Hill
A Legal Lever for Enhancing Productivity by Sandy Kress, Elizabeth Ettema, Krishanu Sengupta
Key Performance Indicators: From Promise to Payoff by Michael Casserly and Michael Eugene
Reforming Educator Compensation by Michael J. Podgursky
William McKenzie is editorial director for the George W. Bush Institute, where he also serves as editor of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute.
Active in education issues, he co-teaches an education policy class at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He also participates in the Bush Institute’s school accountability project.
Before joining the Bush Institute, the Fort Worth native served 22 years as an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News and led the newspaper’s Texas Faith blog. The University of Texas graduate’s columns appeared nationwide and he has won a Pulitzer Prize and commentary awards from the Education Writers Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Texas Headliners Foundation, among other organizations. He still contributes columns and essays for the Morning News and The Weekly Standard.
Before joining the News in 1991, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and spent a dozen years in Washington, D.C. During that time, he edited the Ripon Forum.
McKenzie has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, on the board of a homeless organization, and on governing committees of a Dallas public school. He also is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and their twin children.Full Bio
Accountability Systems Need to be Simple Enough for Parents and the Public to Understand and Act Upon
What we need is a constant balancing of fairness and simplicity. This should be a primary goal for states like Texas now that the new Every Student Succeeds Act gives them more responsibility for holding schools accountable for their results.
Keep Testing Alive -- But Right-Size Assessments
Lessons Learned from The A Word: Accountability-The Dirty Word of Today's Education Reform
No Child Left Behind’s Legacy – and What School Accountability Means Today
In an essay published this week on The 74, a national education news site, Holly Kuzmich, the Bush Institute’s executive director, provides an insider’s look at the creation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Kuzmich, who worked on the landmark legislation that President Bush signed into law 16 years ago this month, also describes the bipartisan bill’s legacy. Anne Wicks, the Bush Institute’s education reform director, and William McKenzie, the Bush Institute’s editorial director, describe as well on The 74 what school accountability means today – and how it can be improved. Their essay includes lessons learned from The A Word: Accountability—The Dirty Word of Today’s Education Reform, a new Bush Institute series of interviews with respected education leaders.