Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has the following decision-making principle (https://integratedleader.com/articles/40-70rule.pdf):
“He says that every time you face a tough decision you should have no less than forty percent and no more than seventy percent of the information you need to make the decision. If you make a decision with less than forty percent of the information you need you are shooting from the hip and you will make too many mistakes. If you get more than seventy percent of the information you need to make the decision then the opportunity has usually passed and someone else has beaten you to the punch”
Criticism of historical actions is always easier than making decisions with time and place urgency. It is also always better to do than sit idle.
In hindsight, it is now evident that federal, state, and municipal government leadership in the Pacific Northwest with regard to public policy related to education largely failed to properly assess the situation and take action in the best interest of one of the most vulnerable populations, school age children, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First it should be observed that throughout the pandemic it was a known fact that children (people) without multiple co-morbidities were not at significant risk of life loss. Current information finds that .1% of the deaths from COVID-19 were in the age group of 0 – 17, .7% of the deaths were in the age group 0 – 29, and 6.7% were under the age of 50. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1191568/reported-deaths-from-covid-by-age-us/. These groups significantly cover a majority of students, parents, and teachers. The states that took actions to protect the most vulnerable and empower the rest of society came out of the pandemic stronger with better results economically, emotionally, mentally, and socially for their populations. https://www.wsj.com/articles/red-states-winning-post-pandemic-economy-migration-11657030536
Returning to education, the following are several articles related to Pacific Northwest state academic performance following the pandemic:
These results which speak of poorly preparing students for the future were not mirrored in states with strong government leadership advocating for opportunities and resources to be created for our nation’s youngest citizens. The following are some examples of different direction results for the same time period:
This brings me to a dual call to action. The first call is that I believe many of the best solutions to problems are found in the private sector. If you want a package delivered in a timely manner do you use UPS, FedEx, or the US Postal system? If you want to travel for business or pleasure, do you get in a vehicle you own, grab an Uber, Lyft, or taxi, or hop on public transportation? I believe that unfortunately, as the son of a public school teacher, a graduate of public schools from kindergarten to college, and a parent who sent his children to public schools and volunteered with my wife proactively for many years, that the education system needs to evolve and embrace more private sector solutions. These opportunities can range from supplemental education programs (Kumon, Mathnasium, Huntington Learning Center, etc.) to preschool and language development programs to vocational training schools (IBA has represented programs teaching professions from floral design to nursing assistants and from bartending to mold remediation) to online learning opportunities. The public school system needs support, no different than the post office needed private sector solutions to address its shortfalls. I applaud those that have stepped up and created companies in the education sector, it is our honor to represent you as a firm in the sale of your business (https://ibainc.com/industries-served/education/). Thank you for making the world a better place. We also welcome the opportunity to sell entrepreneurs established and franchised business models in the education sector. Think how wonderful society would be if every student needing math support not provided by their school or within the capabilities of their parents could find it at a family-owned business within ten miles of their home with available capacity.
My second call for action is for November 8, 2022, the next election date where we the people can raise our voice and express our feelings related to the performance of our representatives in municipal, state, and federal government. If you do not believe public sector educational performance for your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and cousins was satisfactory during the last couple of years, I encourage you to vote for change. All voices are welcome in my America. I have voted for candidates of both parties after assessing them on an individual level. I encourage you to listen to this voice and consider her for the position of US Senator from Washington: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eiAJa9ih74 Our current Senator has been in office since the Clinton Administration. It is time for new ideas, energy, and solutions to the problems facing us as a nation, state, and communities. It would also be nice to have representation from a mom with school age children who is directly experiencing the educational issues of the day.
IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses. IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.