Page 43


Breaking down the Quality Counts report Subconscious visualization techniques: Money doesn’t always matter in education according to the most recent data The 19th annual Quality Counts available from the U.S. Census data. report in Education Week shows Despite this fact, the popular Pennsylvania was rated eighth for and often-used logic that increased education among the nation’s states. spending results in better educational This is a significant accomplishoutcomes across the board remains ment for which the state should be an appealing argument for unions given justifiable credit. and school districts throughout the MacDowell A closer examination of the critestate. ria used by the magazine for rating Jumping to this conclusion, schools in all 50 states and the District of Cothough, isn’t necessarily true — especially when lumbia, however, suggests that the total score it is applied to specific sub-sets of students. needs to be disaggregated in order to obtain a For instance, the Independent Institute’s full picture of schools in the Keystone State. National Assessment of Educational Programs This year, the Bethesda, Maryland-based shows that the parsimonious states of Arizona nonprofit changed the criteria by which it and Oklahoma spent an average of $4,200 and rates states. $4,300 respectively educating each student. The publication placed “more focus on Among the important category of lowoutcomes.” One of the outcomes that carried income students, these states tended to have weight in the study was overall K-12 achievebetter educational outcomes in reading and ment. Pennsylvania’s success here was good. math proficiency than Illinois and Nebraska, The state ranked eighth in this important which spent $7,000 and $8,000 educatcategory. ing each other students, according to the Pennsylvania did not do as well in the area nonpartisan, nonprofit in Oakland, California, of early-childhood education, a category that Pennsylvania overall does relatively well in received special attention in Education Week’s educating students when compared with ratings. In pre-kindergarten education our state similarly sized states. earned a D-minus and ranked 41st among We also do it for less money per student. competing states. For this accomplishment, schools should be As many studies have shown, early childrewarded for progress made against measurhood education is one of the keys to a student’s able outcomes. later success in school. Further, a recent study One way to assure this happens is to conby economists Claudia Persico, C. Kirabo Jack- tinually question whether more non-designated son and Rucker Jackson found that the benefits money for schools necessarily produces better of spending are more pronounced for poor results. Instead, funds should be targeted kids than wealthier ones. Therefore, it makes toward and limited to areas, such as early sense to invest more heavily in early childhood childhood education, where there is a need and programs for low-income students. where results can be measured. Of course, the often-heard response is Additional innovative approaches, such as predictable when additional funding is sought greater public support for many of the excellent for early childhood education. Advocates claim private pre-K programs in the commonwealth, funding for these types of programs is lackshould be considered. ing and the state spends too little per student Let us hope the governor and legislators on education. A closer look at this argument, keep these points in mind as they consider the though, raises some serious questions. new state budget. First of all, despite significant criticism about Michael A. MacDowell is president emerithe amount of money Pennsylvania spends on tus of Misericordia University in Dallas where schools, a national ranking shows the common- he occasionally taught economics, and is the wealth is actually in the upper three quarters of managing director of the Calvin K. Kazanjian all states in the total amount spent per student, Economics Foundation. By Michael A. MacDowell

Seeing the future and helping your employees to do the same

Here are some techniques you can use to get your subconscious into By Bill Sciacca more powerful use. Please keep in This month I would like to cover the mind that this should be a 5 to 10 rudiments of visualization techniques minute process, most likely when you and how they can assist you in developwake up: ing the life, and becoming the person 1. Study your present situation that you want to become. Next month we thoroughly. Are there any areas of Sciacca will focus on using those techniques as concern? Any gaps? Things you want coaching tools to assist your employees to change? Ideas you want to explore? in doing the same. 2. Are there any courses of action that you So, how do you plan your day? Over the years may need to take? Change? Stop taking? of my time as a trainer and consultant I have 3. Visualize any results, consequences, or developed a 15-minute routine to planning your ramifications that may occur as a result of you day that works very well. As this column continues, changing your course of action. I may share that with you, but for now, I think that 4. Decide on daily behavior that need to be question, how do you plan your day, should be modified to fulfill your new course of action. answered at least at a conceptual level. 5. Schedule whatever changes you need to in Without getting into the questions (or the need) your calendar. of having a life vision and life values, I would like Please keep in mind that the steps above to suggest spending a few minutes picturing your are only meant to get you started and are not most important goal as already achieved. Think of hard and fast rules that need to be followed. As how you feel. Think of how your behavior might be a matter of fact, you should only use the above different and what that behavior change may do to as a springboard; change what you want to assist you in the development of other goals. change, delete those items that don’t work for OK, if you are visualizing your goal as achieved, you, develop your own. are you also visualizing behaving in such a way as The goal is not the “form” it is to develop to maintain the success that you have achieved? your own “function”. And, the important point is In other words, in your mind’s eye, since you have that when you start this process, you are spendaccomplished what you wanted to, are your actions ing some time every day shaping your future! It and your thoughts congruent? doesn’t matter “how” you think about shaping it, Guess what? If you followed the above steps, only that you do. and practice them consistently, you have just used All the truly successful people I know spend your subconscious mind to guide your future level time visualizing their future. Many of them are of success. You can in fact put your subconscious rich, some are not. Some area internationally mind to work for you in accomplishing your goals. known consultants and authors, most are not. Since your subconscious mind does not tag an Fame, fortune and power are not prerequisites event as either true or false, (that is the function of for success nor are they the necessary fruits the conscious mind), it doesn’t know if the goal you thereof; unless you want them to be. have before you is reality or a vision of reality; it The preparation of your future through visimply responds in-kind with more of the same. sualization is a simple process, but not an easy So, my suggestion to you is to see the things one. Give it a try, send me your comments! that you want to have or the ways that you want to Biagio “Bill” Sciacca is CEO of Intelligent behave as already yours. In other words, “Act-asMotivation Inc., a training and consulting firm, if…” Your subconscious mind will believe that they as well as the author of “GoalsBook: Embracing are real and already part of your fabric of reality. People ask if it is possible to live your dreams. The Personal Responsibility in an Age of Entitleanswer is yes! ment.” He is a full-time instructor of economEvery time you visualize an event in the future ics and business administration at Penn State as you already being in possession of that event, University. Call 570-430-9303 or email bill@ you are living your dream! (Part 1.)



Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal March 2015  

March 2015