CITIZENS ADVANCING SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS:

TOWARD A PROPOSAL FOR THE CALIFORNIA SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Authors

  • Susan Farr Gabriele GEMS •Gabriele Educational Materials and Systems

Keywords:

systems thinking, education, systems theory, systems practice

Abstract

Abstract

The California Sentate Education Committee is inviting ideas for legislation. This is an opportunity because public education in California is troubled. Bureaucracy has increased to hyperbureaucracy. Diverse stakeholder views overload schools and teachers with conflicting and ill-designed demands. California schools trail national averages in every objective measure of school quality, including flat teacher salaries, due to “piecemeal” decision- making with unintended negative outcomes. The system as a whole has problems. “Systemic solutions” are needed, but their complexity, scope, and cost hinder feasibility. This proposal offers systemic solutions that are neither costly or unmanageable. The cost and complexity is managed by identifying and treating key leverage points. Namely, to improve California schools through legislation, the proposal is as follows: 1-Enforce California Education Code #41400-41409 by removing loopholes and requiring compliance to return to and sustain the administer/teacher ratio; 2-Redefine the role of administrators as supportive, rather than supervisory; 3-Reframe programs in positive rather than negative terms. Proposed legislation will result in effective and systemic decision-making with many anticipated benefits. Cost of certificated non-teaching employee salaries could go down as much as 17%. The savings will allow an increase in teacher salaries. Better decision-making will result, as decisions will be made by those most expert and experienced in the specific people they serve and the processes they manage. Well-designed policies and consequences make it easy for people do the right thing, which will be satisfying to all and improve morale system-wide. Shifting terms in problem-based programs to ideal-based will result in more positive attitudes, more community spirit, and higher morale, as well as less unhappiness, less isolation, and less violence. Threats to the legislation’s success are that systemic solutions are not yet mainstream and administrators might feel diminished by the reduction in numbers and shifting their roles from supervising to supporting teachers.

 

Author Biography

Susan Farr Gabriele, GEMS •Gabriele Educational Materials and Systems

Educational Designer, Consultant, Author. GEMS • Gabriele Educational Materials and Systems Chapman University, Research Methods Graduate Education

Published

2022-11-04