TASC List: Pop quiz for the educators

You’ll remember those clear classroom directions of yesterday. “Please put your books away, and take out a clean sheet of paper and a pencil.”  So this little test is primarily intended for members of our education district staff and administration.

The hope is that we can all focus on the important questions that need answers now, and certainly before the budget process hardens. You can grade yourself on the extent to which you are aware of the need for an education budget that truly responds to the economic realities of these times, the balancing of uncertainty and financial risk within Wilton today, and the extent to which your own organization needs to participate in searching for useful answers.

The questions follow.

1.)  Do you have a performance plan? Does it specify a need for productivity, efficiency, or cost reduction?

2.)  Who in your organization has the responsibility for these?

3.)  Have you ever searched for more effective operating methods?

4.)  If so, what have you discovered, and what has happened as a result?

5.)  Have you ever implemented specific programs aimed at improvement in the workplace?

6.)  Do you have multiple layers of management in your reporting scheme?

7.)  Would fewer layers and levels improve your own productivity and ease of communication?

8.)  Are you acquainted in detail with the decline in enrollment over the recent years?

9.)  And are you familiar with the staff and administrative buildup that preceded it?

10.) Should we now recover those support resources that accompanied the rise? And if so, have you any idea how many budget dollars could be saved or reallocated to other initiatives?

11.) Should the district examine opportunities for cost reduction and improved efficiency from published reports of other school systems experiences?

12.) And should they implement the ones that fit Wilton, explaining the results, and similarly the reasons for non-adaptation?

13.) Have you ever made specific suggestions for improvement or cost reduction? Have they been accepted?

14.) Do you believe that such suggestions could also be collected from the populations of students, teachers, and parents?

15.) And if collected, might include some of considerable value?

16.) We all understand the enormous value in our education process. Do you feel you understand the cost side of that equation and why it is so important today?

17.) Clearly you could formulate other such questions, and better ones as well. And so could the community at large. One hopes that over the next 60 days we will experience just that.

TASC stands for Toward A Stronger Community. Contact brennerjoe@aol.com.