When a lot of learning happens at home...it doesn't mean the school is any better than another.

That is because the learning happened before the student went to school. It wasn't the school that caused this learning.

Some learning happens inside school

Some learning happens outside school (at home)

Technically, when something "outside" the system (the school system in this case) happens, it is considered a "special" or "outside" cause of variation.

When something is caused by the system itself, "inside" the system (the school system in this case), it is considered a common cause of variation.

How can we tell when learning is caused by what happens inside or outside the school system?

One measure is relative wealth or poverty in the form of the percent of students getting a Free or Reduced Price Meal (FRPM).

A low FRPM is highly correlated with better learning performance. Higher FRPM is highly correlated with poorer learning performance.

And yet, nothing different happened at school. High and low performing schools are identical in terms of what happens inside school.

A beginner's mistake: confusing correlation with causation.

FRPM is correlated with higher performance but is not cause & effect. Why? Because FRPM is an indicator of what happens outside the school system. (As has been previously covered, the school system is actually a follow-the-schedule method invented by Frederick Winslow Taylor for production.)

What schools actually do, inside school, not outside in homes, that is cause & effect of school system performance.

We use FRPM in charts to indicate a special or outside cause of variation.

Consider the following two elementary schools in California's San Jose Unified School District.

Selma Olinder has a high percentage of students getting a Free or Reduced Price Meal and the math performance is low.

• Any result above zero is proficient; below is not proficient. • There is a 99% chance that results will remain the same in coming years, which is to say, between the Upper and Lower Control Limits (the gray lines). • The houses with the % of students receiving a Free or Reduced Price Meal is a measure of wealth/poverty.

Selma Olinder Elementary math proficiency
Zero+ meets standard.
77% less $meal
75% less $meal
74% less $meal
78% less $meal
72% less $meal

Booksin Elementary on the other hand, has a low percentage of students getting a Free or Reduced Price Meal and the math performance is higher.

• Any result above zero is proficient; below is not proficient. • There is a 99% chance that results will remain the same in coming years, which is to say, between the Upper and Lower Control Limits (the gray lines). • The houses with the % of students receiving a Free or Reduced Price Meal is a measure of wealth/poverty.

Booksin Elementary math proficiency
Zero+ meets standard.
10% less $meal
10% less $meal
7% less $meal
8% less $meal
9% less $meal

Don't be fooled! These two schools are identical!

They both use the very same follow-the-schedule method invented by Frederick Winslow Taylor.

  1. The same central planning department designs the same teaching schedule for both schools.

  2. The same central planning department designs the same tests for both schools.

  3. The same central planning department assigns the same textbooks for both schools.

  4. The same human resources department hires teachers, largely from the same local teacher colleges.

These schools are identical!

The variation is caused NOT by something different between the schools — there is no difference between the schools!

The variation is a special or outside cause of variation.

When wealthier parents
  make sure
    their children keep up and fit in
      to the one-size-fits-all schedule,
        their school seems to be a better school.

But it is not.

To change the school, change the method.

To improve the school, change to a better method for education.