Professor Johnson has a wit and wisdom from which we can all learn......Professor Johnson has institutional knowledge we should all incorporate in our daily lives.
Mark Sadler
Parent, Gadsden Co., FL

Bill's Books

Support and learn about Bill's efforts to instill his humane and effective teaching methods, in the home and in the school, by purchasing one of his books.

Transform the school, transform society.

Ecomics and school

There is an invisible hand in the background of almost nearly every school problem. A list of serious problems would include the re-segregation of a lot of schools, along not just racial lines, but more importantly, along class (money) lines. There are millions of children that show up unprepared for the academic demands of school. There are lots of children that exhibit severe behavior problems. The turnover rate among teachers is getting serious. Many teenagers don’t graduate because of academic failure. Many young people don’t graduate because of incarceration. Many just simply drop out. Substance abuse is prevalent among many young people. The specter of violence hovers over many children. School truancy and suspension rates plague many schools.

As schools grapple with a litany of societal problems, they are handcuffed by trying to deal with them as if they are simply school problems. Entire bureaucracies spend all of their time telling teachers and administrators to do this and then that and then this again, in vain and often misguided efforts to correct problems in a school that, truth be told, aren’t just school problems. Until society in general and school systems in particular begin to seriously address the problem of poverty in America and all of its cousins – unemployment, underemployment, crime, and hopelessness – all of the tinkering in the world that bureaucrats want to do is not going to effect the child that is really struggling in any meaningful way.

The fact that almost a fifth of the children in this country, the most prosperous country on the planet, live in poverty and millions more live in families under severe financial stress, is an absolute disgrace and a clear sign that something has gone way wrong. A significant key to understanding comes in the ridiculous phrase “the working poor.” (In some states up to a half of the working people are making under $15 an hour.)

When corporate profits for the wealthy become more important than the lives of actual people and their families, a huge societal problem is created. Not only does it make a mockery of the very foundation of our type of government which is based on the creed that “All men are created equal,” but it elevates greed to the top of the human quality pile, elevating it over honesty, integrity, hard work ethic, compassion and every other good quality that you can think of.

Many children from severely financially stressed homes don’t get the proper nutrition, positive adult  attention and character development, and important early academic experiences that radically effect brain development and capacity. They also carry with them the scars of way too many negative experiences – physically, emotionally and mentally, plus a ton of often negative television watching as the cherry on top.

Modern schools are ill-equipped to deal with children woefully unprepared for a school setting, whether it be emotionally or academically, and swamped with too many students with too many unfilled needs. Hence – the “F” school, which is always – surprise – anchored in an economically depressed community.

Real school reform needs to begin with families getting the financial resources they need to raise a child properly. If you work for a living, you should actually be able to live. I have no idea about the way out of the woods, but know enough that a way out needs to be sought. A combination of real profit sharing at the corporate level, an effort to incentivize jobs staying in America, and a conscious effort at the local level to invest in small, privately owned businesses would be a start. Support the family, support the school.

 

When giving a command, you don't want a child thinking that now it's time for them to weigh their options. "Let's see, should I run blindly out into the street risking instant death or paralysis, OR should I go to Mommy who is, as I ponder, yelling at me to get back from the curb. What to do, what to do ?" How about "DO AS YOU'RE TOLD?"
Professor Johnson Unhinged - Section on Parenting

7 Minute Lecture Series

 

01. Introduction
(7 minute Lectures)

02. How to Create a Dropout
(Positive Behavior Shaping)

03. The Phone Call
(Reward Effort)