New Approach to Public Policy...
With Special Emphasis Upon Solutions to
the Current Crisis in Public Education
"In an increasingly knowledge based
and globalized economy, the quality of our public education becomes
ever more critical to our nation’s macroeconomic and
geopolitical well-being. The United States must act now to
improve its public schools or it will inevitably jeopardize its future
as a great nation."
— Charles D. McVean: "The Privatization of
Populism," November 22, 2005.
Privatization of Populism
Policy Enhanced Philanthropic Activity
as a proposed
New Channel for National Income Flows
With Special Emphasis Upon
Solutions to the Current
Crisis in U.S. Public Education
November 22, 2005
• Traditionally, we look at the U.S. economy as being
comprised of four major sectors: a) business
b) government c)
household and d) foreign.
• Over the last fifteen years or so, we have
the business sector to greatly improve its efficiency
b) relatively downsized government to eliminate
some of its inefficiency c) experienced the implosion of a
our lower income family units and d) seen an alarming increase
• We are left with some large gaps in our national agenda.
These problems are partially listed above, or direct or unintended
consequences of the above, and
partially simply results of lapses in our collective good judgment.
Failures in the area
of public education are noteworthy examples of these concerns. In an
knowledge based and globalized economy, the quality of our public
becomes ever more critical to our nation’s macroeconomic and
well-being. The United
States must act now to improve its public
schools or it will inevitably
jeopardize its future as a great nation.
• Another aspect of an increasingly knowledge based and
globalized economy is a natural and inevitable process of income
polarization. Better educated individuals will obviously tend, on
average, to earn higher incomes. Less obvious,
however, is an important macroeconomic consequence of this income
process. All else being equal, income polarization tends to increase
both the supply of
and the demand for credit. In the upper income echelons, pools of
accumulate as incomes surpass planned levels of expenditure.
Simultaneously, at the
middle and lower end of the spectrum, demand for credit tends to increase as
incomes fail to support lifestyle expectations. Under these conditions,
extensions of credit channel concentrations of capital into consumer
excessive consumer credit creation ultimately spawns secondary
which are neither desirable nor sustainable. Examples of such problems
collapsed personal savings rate and the correlated foreign trade
Increasing the role of government in the intermediation of funds
process has also proven
inefficient and often even counterproductive. The long-term
relationship between the
relative size of government spending and the level of inflation is well
time, more government spending means higher inflation, and consequently
lower real growth. Philanthropy offers a third, often more productive,
way of putting
savings to work. Arguably, from macroeconomic and domestic
philanthropy deserves greater consideration. Important avenues of
are either tired (overextended credit) or outmoded (big government).
philanthropic activity could rejuvenate our system by bringing private
to bear on pressing public sector problems.
• The launch of Sputnik I, in 1957, was a historic wake up
call. According to its tradition, the United States immediately
responded to the Russian
challenge in a massive, and ultimately decisive, fashion. Now the shocking image out
of New Orleans, of a large dysfunctional society, growing in our very
raises straightforward questions. Does the current generation of Americans,
nearly fifty years after Sputnik, still have the right stuff to
recognize and deal
with an impending national calamity, while time still allows? Or, are
we simply consumed
by the unprecedented prosperity of this same past fifty years?
• Unfortunately, time is not on our side. The malignancy
destroying the societal structure of our large impoverished urban areas
is nearing metastasis.
The terminal phase of this affliction is easily recognized when a high
sets in among the few remaining functional family units in an area. As
we approach this
critical point, wholesale interdiction is our only viable option. We
programs, across the board, to develop underprivileged youth as
productive members of our society. Only our large public schools could
accommodate operations on the scale required by such a mission.
• As an example of The
Privatization of Populism, we will now
outline a hybrid public/private approach to restructuring our large,
schools. Our program emphasizes a methodical, modular approach. We will view each
school, conceptually, as a collection of processes, and then rebuild
school one process at a time. We will also recognize that a primary constraint to our
progress is the shortage of exceptional teachers devoted to inner city
Therefore, we should always emphasize programs to maximize the systemic impact of our
few excellent teachers. Putting it all together, we should leverage the
effectiveness of our better teachers, through creative processes, in our larger public
• Philanthropic successes in primary and secondary education
are extensive, and in instances exceptional. For example, consider the
exemplary story of Providence-St. Mel School in Chicago, Illinois. In a
Providence-St. Mel last year sent 100% of its graduates to four-year
universities with 59% to top-tier and Ivy League institutions
characteristics of this school, such as its excellent faculty, are
non-transferable. Many of its disciplines, however, like insistence on
provide important lessons for application elsewhere. We, at East High,
integrate such methodologies, through healthy doses of trial and error, into what we
Enhancing Educational Processes.1
organizations could then implement Productivity
Enhancing Educational Processes in
individual public schools much like franchise operations proliferate in
business community. Sophisticated measurement techniques could then
determine which systems
were most “profitable" for our society.2
• In partnership with the Memphis City School System, our
Foundation has a promising example of a Productivity Enhancing
Educational Process under
development. We named this concept, The 20/20 Vision Tutorial Program.
Our program employs, for pay, outstanding junior and senior students to
tutor in the middle school. With a strong teacher at the helm, this
enormously increase his/her effective Teaching Power, in a very cost
fashion. Furthermore, the 20/20 Vision Program is modular and scalable.
words, once proven and documented, this system could be replicated in
public school in the United States (for further information visit our (website www.EastHighFoundation.org).
• To summarize, from both macro and micro perspectives, we see
important ways in which increased philanthropic activity might
contribute favorably to
our national well-being. Specifically, we have discussed a new means of
our aggregate allocation of capital, and of solving problems in public
Therefore, to facilitate the accomplishment of these and other vital national
objectives, we propose a process whereby our nation’s
philanthropic activities are
taken to a whole new level. Indeed, we propose the effective establishment of a fifth
primary sector of the U.S. economy, The Philanthropic Enterprise Sector.
A five sector approach to domestic policy promises to be immediately
more comprehensive and
coherent, and ultimately more efficient, than the traditional four.
• Now, what role or roles should government play in this new
Enterprise Sector? First of all, please recognize that in
propose a broadening of the private sector relative to government (The
Privatization of Populism). This theme derives from our overarching
view that the
private sector is vastly more efficient than government. Accordingly,
restrict itself to establishing priorities and providing incentives. Government should
always be restrained from involvement in actual operations of The Philanthropic
Enterprise Sector. Furthermore, in The Philanthropic Enterprise
Sector, many key
decisions would be made by, or under, the direction of governing boards
of seasoned business and professional leaders. Also, decentralization
would tend to reduce bureaucratic inertia. But perhaps most
importantly, entrepreneurial creativity could be expected to flourish in this essentially private environment.
• A platform for rapid acceleration in philanthropic activity
might be a new breed of agreements between government and philanthropic
New Social Contracts For Philanthropic Accomplishment
- Performance Based
- Tax Advantaged
- Contractual Commitments
• As an example of a New Social Contract, we might consider
our operations at East High School in Memphis, Tennessee. We have been
approached by another foundation, which generously offered supplemental
funding for our
efforts. For the time being, we declined this offer pending statistical
proof that we
can indeed substantially raise our students’ standardized test scores.
We are determined to document and quantify our accomplishments prior to
people’s money. Implicitly, we have proposed a private
sector, New Social
Contract, where payment is based on performance, not intentions.
• A next step might be formal government contracts with
businesses, foundations and individuals to award tax advantages in
exchange for school-by-school improvements in standardized test scores,
achieved over specified periods of time.
These tax benefits should not be intended to fully fund philanthropic
The pot just needs to be sweetened enough to cause a meaningful
increase in philanthropic
activity, above that which would otherwise occur.
• The United States stands apart as a free and open society,
dispersed across a vast continent and empowered by a dynamic market
based economy. This
combination of conditions encourages ongoing innovation of a magnitude
in history. The
Philanthropic Enterprise Sector is conceived to allow key
predominately public areas, such as primary and secondary education,
participation in this uniquely American process of perpetual
reinvention. Our East High
approach could be the catalyst for just such dynamic improvement in our
schools. In this system, private interests could identify new and
powerful concepts, and
implement them, in sufficient scale and scope, to turn the tide of our
nation’s great struggle to improve public education.
• Our 20/20 Vision Tutorial Program is up and running at East
High School, 3206 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38111. We now have
juniors and seniors tutoring eighty middle school students in mathematics. If
you would like to see a Productivity Enhancing Educational Process at
call our Director, William Sehnert (901-761-8463), our Director Emeritus,
Margaret Taylor (901-761-8463), or East High School Principal,
• The Greater East High Foundation is pleased to make the
• Our friends, Mr. Paul Adams, the founder of Providence-St.
Mel School of Chicago and Ms. Jeanette DiBella, its principal, will
observe operations at East High on January 10, 2006. A public reception
their honor will be held at 3:30 p.m., in the school library.
Mel is among the finest, if not the finest, schools serving
youth in our nation.
• Mr. Yuri Branch of Chicago and Mr. Jon Housholder of Memphis
have been appointed to our Foundation faculty as Distinguished Teachers
in Mathematics. Yuri is a graduate of Xavier University, and Jon of
Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis. Both will teach along with the student tutors at East High School.
• Our six most outstanding tutors have been named as captains
of their respective twenty-one student mathematics teams. They are Mr.
Robert Buggs (EHS 06), Miss Alyssa Carter (EHS 06), Mr. Mario Fortney
(EHS 06), Mr. Cortney Richardson (EHS 07), Miss Elizabeth Ross (EHS
07), and Miss Deidra Sanders (EHS 07).
Charles D. McVean, Chairman
most cases, although not exclusively, a P.E.E.P. should emphasize the
leveraging of the effectiveness of exceptional teachers.
care must be exercised in the design and administration of evaluation
procedures. Our Foundation is in consultation with Providence-St. Mel
School for guidance on this subject.
THE EAST HIGH
Vision Tutorial Program •
Power • Discipline• Accountability•
Work In Progress •
Website www.EastHighFoundation.org •
Phone (901)761-8463 • Fax (901 761-8406