Welcome To The Future Of Education! A business plan to recast pre-k-12 education in the U.S

Storyboard 12—Smart ideas (NCLB, too) that missed

SB 12 kid with cookies  23395801Being only human, sometimes those responsible for reading a situation sometimes miss the mark.

To wit, a bit of modern history: There were Internet/computer/IT professionals who predicted that the launch of Netscape Navigator would meet with minimal demand. Adept at using computers, IT, etc., these individuals routinely went online without the aid of Netscape—and, therefore, could fathom "no reason" why the public would call upon Netscape software.

Agreeing with those professionals were the usual conventional wisdom gurus. It soon became clear, however—in fact, from the moment of Netscape's launch—that such thinking had exhibited an extraordinary level of cluelessness in knowing the public. Similarly afflicted may be the veteran elementary school teacher who recently declared, upon hearing about an aspect of the GMnavy.go model, that there "already is a fine website for students": She then described a site of "wonderful" math games . . . a site particularly "popular" in her captive-audience classroom. Cluelessness may also account for the CEO of Xerox in his refusal to allow his company to launch a bold new product in photocopying: desktop copiers, a term thought to have been coined by his own employees. The CEO declared there would "never be a market for small copiers," Xerox's (freezer-chest sized) copiers being so much faster and more powerful. Likewise, cluelessness may characterize the long-time CEO of IBM who refused to buy the MS-DOS patent from a desperate Bill Gates. Struggling to make the right decision, the IBM leader could see no need to acquire MS-DOS; after all, "consumers already flock to Big Blue." And finally, there's NCLB (see Storyboard 30), a testing tool thought by some to be a stand-alone fix. Although the cost of NCLB is mind-boggling, educational gain that the all but go-it-alone NCLB will generate will tend to be nonexistent. When it comes to ramping up the productivity of secondary education, no new testing tool and no amount of No Child Left Behind kudos will fool such age-old truth-detectors as NAEP, PISA and ACT.

● Netscape became a phenomenon.

● Rather than seizing the moment to launch desktop copiers, mighty Xerox did the polar opposite, selling its desktop patents to a certain tiny (but soon thereafter mighty) company in Japan, as Xerox began its spiral to near-bankruptcy.

● In a brilliant eleventh-hour move to avoid the death of IBM—following sustained indignities such as the clobbering by upstart MS-DOS and Mr. Gates—IBM's CEO was replaced by technophobe Lou Gerstner from RJR Nabisco: Though unable to understand the thinking of old-line IBMers, "the cookie monster" understood customers . . . crystal clear . . . as IBM soared to spectacular heights.

● Sadly, NCLB remains stuck in the same hole year after year, spinning its wheels, rocking an inch this way or that and churning billions upon billions of dollars, awaiting the GMnavy.go engine to yank it forward.

 

Yes, it's opportunity time once again, this time in the form of the GMnavy.go model, whether for a potential commercial SPONSOR whose bottom line might be boosted via the loyalty of tens of millions of young people, parents, grandparents, etc.; an NICHD, vested in bringing potentially huge gains in the battle for literacy; or the U.S. Department of Education, needing to lift the nation's report card to something higher than an "F."