THE CHRISTIAN WORK ETHIC NEWSLETTER
When God made us, He gave us the capabilities to be the BEST we can be in serving others. Yet, we have allowed mediocrity to become amplified in workplaces across America!
God taught us not to bear false witness against our neighbor! Yet, we see workplaces in which workers intentionally deceive others often in subtle ways.
God plays no favorites among his people. We are created in His image and He does not turn Himself away from us! Yet, discrimination has become a way of life for many workers who play God especially those in human resources departments where employment and advancement decisions are made that can adversely affect the lives of others.
In my November and January newsletters, I am focusing on these three major work ethic issues which should be of concern to ALL workers. Although public education in North Carolina is the work setting from which these are highlighted, workers should understand that these sins exist in many workplaces across America and we workers can be guilty of committing any one of them!
MEDIOCRITY AND DECEPTION IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
I was saddened to read a very recent local newspaper headline concerning the quality of public education in North Carolina: CRITICS: TEST RESULTS AREN'T A VALID GAUGE .
I was not surprised. The following excerpt which is taken from my book, A Worker Need Not Be Ashamed, was written to call attention to that ugly cancer called MEDIOCRITY which exists in many workplaces across America:
"The John Locke Foundation reports that 'North Carolina officials were embarrassed in 2001 to discover that their new math tests were absurdly easy to pass - a product of poor judgment and a flawed system of field testing. The problems go far beyond this one episode. To achieve 'grade level' often means that students need not get even half the questions right, so they can expect to pass simply through educated guessing. Most questions on math tests do not involve computation. Spelling and grammar don't count on most writing tests. And while both state tests and the well-respected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) use four levels of achievement, the performance necessary to earn Level 3 on state tests is lower than the NAEP's Level 2. In other words, North Carolina's expectations are too low."
And, it doesn't seem to be getting any better! In the recent newspaper article to which I refer, it was reported that North Carolina students can now pass state End-of-Grade tests by getting as few as one third of the questions correct, and that relatively low passing threshold makes state schools appear to be doing a better job than they really are. And so mediocrity now includes deception better known as LYING! God help the students!
The same newspaper account pointed to a teacher who works at Hunter Elementary School in Greensboro where 85 percent of students test at grade level. Yet, this teacher says he has seen children who cannot read and perform math at grade level pass the End-of-Grade tests.
This sounds very familiar. As a former teacher and management official, I wrote the following comment in my book: "I should not be surprised at such results because we, in business, see products of public education who come to us and cannot even complete an employment application properly! Shame on public education for allowing students to graduate who cannot add fractions and who can hardly write their name!"
Yet, education officials continue to cry for more money, more money!
Pardon my English, but it ain't the money! We have been throwing money at this problem for years and we still have the same situation: Low standards that have existed for far too long!
If there is still any doubt about this, I invite any of my readers to visit a local Christian school in YOUR community and ask them to share their results with you! (Several years ago, I visited Burlington (NC) Christian Academy and was astounded when reviewing the statistics which the Headmaster shared with me! OUTSTANDING RESULTS are being achieved at that precious school!)
Those who work in the public schools often say it is unfair to compare results from private schools because the public schools can not be selective in choosing their students. This suggests that all students who enter the private school will come with a great motivation for learning and will automatically excel in their studies! Sorry, but I don't buy that excuse.
It is a known fact that private Christian schools do not just focus on teaching skills and knowledge. The affective domain of learning better known as attitude development is also included because private administrators recognize that attitude and motivation toward learning is critical regardless of the student's personal background! This includes DISCIPLINE which is sorely lacking in the public schools!
Public school administrators across America need to look at exceptional examples of what is being done correctly to LEARN HOW TO RETURN TO QUALITY EDUCATION. Officials do not seem to understand that God not only expects the BEST from his people, he expects his people to prepare our precious children to do their best. Otherwise, we are teaching through example that quality really isn't a big deal!
Students aren't stupid! They KNOW and will later respect teachers who keep the standards for achievement high! When I see the results of public education, it is no wonder that many young people who enter our workforce do not have a proper work ethic and are interested in merely getting by with little or no extra effort!
Because of pride and self centeredness, I am afraid that public school officials will continue to be blinded and live in their own miserable world. According to the newspaper article to which I have referred, the North Carolina Testing Director believes the current minimum passing scores are appropriate although he said setting these benchmarks always will be somewhat objective. After all, he states, "If you set a standard too high, you give people a false negative".
What? What? A false negative?????? Here we go again!
No matter where you work or your occupation, I challenge YOU to look at YOUR own work life. If you are also guilty of committing such sins, I pray that you will change your ways.
Life is about CHOICES! My friend, YOU can be a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed!
Very truly yours,
Jim Hogsett, President/Founder; Worker Ministries and Writer for Guideposts Magazine