The First Twenty Pages, Plus Table of Contents

Chapter 1  – See How Different Classrooms Could Be

Our premise is, over the last half century or more, the education process at work in our nation’s classrooms has grown dysfunctional and impedes rather than supports the work of teachers and students. The evidence of the inefficacy of the existing education process is, we believe, overwhelming and compelling. The purpose of this book is to introduce a new education model we believe will transform education in the U.S. in a way that will allow it to work for both our teachers and all children, not just a fortunate few.

The title The Hawkins Model© has been selected because it allows me to retain the rights of authorship. This model will be made available, for free, to any publicly funded or faith-based school or school district willing to put the model to the test in one of its struggling elementary schools, of which there are many. The only revenue I hope to generate will be royalties from this book, after publication, with a great deal of help from each of you.           

The book has been written in the first person as it is a personal request from me to you to join me in bringing this vision to life. I ask readers to examine the model, not in search of reasons why it might not work, rather to understand what it would be like to teach and learn in such an innovative learning environment.

Please note that an earlier version of The Hawkins Model© was introduced in 2013 in my first book on education[1]. The book was not widely read. Since then, it has been promoted on Twitter and a few of the educators who have taken the time to review it have embraced it, enthusiastically. Educators, particularly teachers, are so immersed in their schools and classrooms it is not easy to envision any other way to do what they do. This work will introduce a much more complete look at the model with as few distractions as possible.

At the outset, I want to make my view of teachers clear. Our nation’s professional teachers are not the reason for the problems in education in the U.S. or why so many of our children struggle to achieve academic success. Teachers are unsung American heroes who deserve our support and admiration for the essential work they do for our children.

Our teachers are victims of our flawed education process every bit as much as their students. Let it be known that teachers are the glue that holds a flawed education process together. All the good things that have happened to our students throughout the past several decades are because of the dedicated effort of these professional men and women. They are given too narrow of a lane, however, to meet the needs of our nation’s diverse population of children.

Public education is under attack by the “school choice” movement and until public-school educators step back and examine what is happening in our schools, the flow of resources being siphoned out of the coffers of community public schools will continue. While there is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of charter schools they are not performing as well as the community public schools they were established to replace, which we will illustrate later. This should come as no surprise as many if not most charters rely on the same flawed education process this book has been written to replace.

There is no doubt there are excellent charter schools just as there are exemplary community public schools. What they have in common is they rely on the same education process but work with students who are well prepared for academic success even when teachers must rely on a flawed process. Just as there are many struggling community public schools there are many struggling charters schools. What they have in common is they rely on the same education process and work with students who are poorly prepared for academic success and are unable to overcome the challenges that process presents to students and teachers. This is true for many reasons, as we will discuss often throughout this book..

As important as that may be, the more crucial issue is the logistical improbability the promoters of charter schools will ever be able to create enough charter schools to meet the needs of fifty to sixty million American school children. The operative question is, are we committed to educating only a portion of our nation’s children or do we have an obligation to all, now and into the future?

The longer we allow resources to be drained from community public schools, however, the more difficult it will be for those schools to serve the needs of our nation’s most valuable yet vulnerable assets.  Somehow public education must recapture the faith of the American people that it truly is “the pathway to the American Dream”—sadly, a dream that no longer feels real in the hearts and minds of far too many Americans.

We cannot recapture the allegiance of the American people by relying on a structure and process that consistently fails to produce the outcomes our nation requires. What I recommend  is that we follow the lead of business and industry, not by letting business leaders run our schools, but rather by introducing shiny new products of significantly greater value to their customers and then market them aggressively. This is how many new products and services capture market share.

The Hawkins Model© is, I submit, that shiny new product. We ask educators from all levels and venues to examine our model and then come together to rally the American people around a brand-new idea that will transform education in America.

Ironically, in this scenario, the school choice movement will have fulfilled its purpose. It will have helped push public education to elevate its game by providing the highest possible quality of education to American children and, also, to do so equitably. This will give our nation’s parents a true “school choice.”

The First Step in the Presentation of our New Model

Our biggest challenge is to entice educators, whatever their level, role, or venue to be willing to believe a transformation of education is possible. Our professional teachers, administrators, and education policymakers have found it difficult to step outside the context of the traditional education process and their conceptual classrooms, to examine my education model as an integral whole. Many cannot envision how the changes I am recommending can possibly work in their classrooms. “It sounds too good to be true,” many of them say and thus find it easy to dismiss. The most common response from teachers is “I cannot find time to do everything my students need of me, today. How can there possibly be time to do everything your model expects of us?”

I encourage these good people to give me the opportunity to show them. We remind the reader, innovative solutions, often, can only be found outside the boundaries of conventional wisdom.

 Many of you may be familiar with a creative thinking exercise that I refer to as “The Nine Dots.” It is an exercise that has been around for many years and that I used in the many positive leadership seminars I conducted throughout my career. In Appendix I – A Lesson in Exponential Thinking we will illustrate how a solution to the problem represented by the nine dots, and many other challenges, including transforming public education, cannot be found or even envisioned until we step outside the illusory square/box formed by the nine dots.

Our nation’s teachers and administrators are encouraged to make a paradigm leap—also a leap of faith—to open their hearts and minds to a new idea, just as they encourage their students to do. Think about how many aspects of life in America have undergone a transformation in the last few decades. Why would we choose to think a transformation of education is impossible?

We will provide a glimpse of what The Hawkins Model© will look like when implemented in our classrooms but, first, we must illustrate what needs to be fixed. The best way to accomplish this is to examine what teachers see in their classrooms, daily, as this is the most powerful evidence of the inefficacy of the education process with which teachers and their students must deal.

As you examine this exhibit please do so within the context of the first two of the many assertions and assumptions on which this book is predicated. The first is,

Whenever a process continues to produce unacceptable outcomes no matter how hard people work or how qualified they are, the problem rests with the process itself, and it must be reimagined and reinvented.

The second, is,

            It is only when we stop blaming others and accept responsibility for our problems that we begin to acquire the power to solve them.

Other assertions and assumptions that I believe provide the philosophical and logical foundation for this work will be highlighted as they appear above and will be listed in Appendix II – Assertions and Assumptions. These are what I think of as bridges to understanding.

What do Teachers See in their Classrooms, Daily?

In addition to being the most compelling evidence of the inefficacy of the American education process, what teachers see in their classrooms provides a blueprint for transformation.

No one can truly understand what goes on in our nation’s classrooms unless they have done their time—having spent time in one. Those who have not spent time in the classroom do not see the dedication and commitment of teachers, nor do they see the frustration these professionals feel when they are swimming against the currents of 21st Century life.

Once we examine this exhibit we will offer a glimpse of what The Hawkins Model© will look like when implemented in our classrooms.

Teachers know the education process is dysfunctional every time they see the cavernous disparity in the levels of academic preparedness and emotional development of students as they arrive for their first day of kindergarten.

Teachers know the process is inadequate when there is no meaningful strategy to acclimatize their students to what, for many, can be a frightening new world at one of the most vulnerable periods in their young lives. They know they have little opportunity to give students the time and attention these children need, and that developing nurturing relationships with their students, while at or near the top of their priority list, is one of too many priorities with too many students with more needs with which any one teacher can be expected to deal.

When the classroom is filled with anywhere from 25 to 35 students on the first day of school, the expectation is that all students will be instructed according to lesson plans that have been developed pursuant to the academic standards of their state and that have been approved by their principals and superintendents. Teachers know the process is flawed when there is no blueprint or tool in place to assess where each child is best prepared to begin their lifelong learning adventure.

What do students know and what can they do? Some may be reading, others may or may not know their letters and numbers. Many others may not have learned their colors and may be behind in the development of an array of skills children must acquire. Where should we start our work with them to ensure they are moving forward at the cusp of their learning threshold? How do we make certain we do not push these children too far and too fast?

We have been teaching children the same way for so long, teachers have had to learn how to set aside the nagging feeling that marching students, as a class, from one lesson to the next, according to the schedules embedded in academic standards, is too fast for many students and too slow for others. Not being able to keep up or being forced to slow down for their classmates discourages some students and frustrates most.

The professional men and women given the responsibility for a classroom know the education process is ineffectual when there is neither an expectation, strategy, nor process in place to tailor an academic plan to meet the unique needs of their students. Without such a plan how can we guide them from the point at which we find them to where they need to go? Academic standards provide clear expectations of what it is believed students should be able to accomplish by the end of this first year of school and each year, thereafter, as if it is a realistic expectation for all students.

Policy makers need to understand that teaching kids, in at least one respect, is akin to a golf shot. The farther down the fairway the ball must travel the more exaggerated are the consequences of flaws in the misalignment of the golfer’s body, the speed and arc of the swing, the angle of the face of the clubhead, and the fraction of the micrometers away from the sweet spot on the club face where it struck the ball.

What seem like minute variations in how we apply a teacher’s craft can make an enormous difference as teachers strive to prepare the minds, character, and bodies of our students to move down the fairways of this most crucial thirteen years of a youngster’s life. We leave far too much to chance when we fill classrooms to overflowing, beyond the point where what even our best teachers can do will be enough.

The pressure to keep students gathered along the path set out by academic standards is relentless. After every lesson, teachers know the process is flawed when it is time to move their class along to a next lesson, in any of the subject areas they must cover, fully aware that a portion of their students still struggle to comprehend. They know many children in their classroom have not acquired the pre-requisite knowledge they will need to be successful on subsequent material.

When there are worksheets to exchange and grade in class, or graded tests and quizzes to return to students, teachers know understanding one’s mistakes is one of the most important keys to learning but, after every lesson and test there are always more mistakes by more students than teachers have time to address.

Our teachers know the process is not structured to focus on success when the purpose of tests and other assignments is more focused on determining the appropriate letter grade to signify how a student’s scores ranks among classmates, than it is about learning. Whether they think about it consciously or just know intuitively, it is apparent  to many the education process is structured like a competition in which some students succeed, and others do not. The grades recorded provide incontrovertible evidence that the education process is focused, not on the best each child can do rather on the best kids can do in the allotted time when measured against the achievement of others.

Teachers know that rather than determining a grade, the appropriate use of quizzes and tests should be to identify what progress the students have made, whether they require more time and attention to gain comprehension of lessons, and on what subject matter to focus. These assessments are the quality systems of education, but we rarely use them for that purpose, nor do we take the appropriate corrective action. Why do we care what kids have been unable to learn if we have no intention to remediate?

Teachers know the process is dysfunctional when they reach the midpoint of the second semester and must divert their attention to prepare students for state competency examinations. They know that for students who have been unable to attain subject mastery throughout much if not all the school year, no amount of cramming will assure success.

They know at the end of the school year there are children with whom the teacher has been unable to forge the nurturing relationships those students need. Teachers know that even what relationships they have been able to develop will soon be severed at the end of the year based on decades of a tradition of marching to arbitrary cadences. This represents one more lost opportunity for the child.

Teachers are very much aware the process will recommence in the fall when their  students from the previous year meet a new teacher whom they, often, will be meeting for the first time. They know this because they are anticipating the same challenge for their own incoming students. It is just one more example where the needs of students are unmet. Only a few of these youngsters will be fortunate to forge the special relationships academic success and emotional growth requires. The needs of these kids are sacrificed by the education process to serve the interests of operational convenience and efficiency, as well as compliance and conformance. 

What teachers may not realize is the malaise they feel, at various times in a school year, is the absence of any sense of accomplishment and affirmation of their own efforts. Teachers need to experience success every bit as much as their students and celebrating success provides validation for students and teachers alike. How could any of us deal, daily, with the frustration of not being given the time and resources necessary to complete much of the important work we are given and, therefore, are unable to enjoy the satisfaction that comes from a job well done?

Teachers know the system is failing, each new school year, when they must begin anew, striving to develop relationships with too many new students, many of whom are poorly prepared for the work that awaits them and when this is repeated, annually. This defect is most notable when the previous year’s fifth graders arrive in middle school and the previous year’s eighth grade students move on to high school. Far too many students are less prepared for each succeeding transition than they were for the preceding one.

For teachers, awareness of the lack of readiness of their students is highlighted late in the second semester of any given school year, when an administrator asks them whether a student is ready to be passed on to the next grade level. Teachers know the process is flawed when, in the second semester of a student’s senior year, they are asked to find a way to help students, who have made a minimal effort over the course of the previous four years, earn credits so they can graduate with their classmates.

In these situations, which happen far more often than outsiders can imagine, our schools are scrambling to give themselves justification for graduating students, rather than striving to assure their students qualify for graduation and are well-prepared for life after high school. This is one reason graduation rates are the least meaningful measure of success for schools, teachers, and students.

Finally, teachers try not to think about the challenges these young men and women will face when they take possession of what, for many, are meaningless documents when they walk across the stage at graduation.

If only teachers, principals, and, most of all, superintendents, were given an opportunity to see how poorly their graduates will do when they seek admission to and struggle to perform in their college or vocational classrooms; when they struggle to pass the ASVAB to qualify for enlistment in the military; or when they report for their first day of work poorly prepared to do the job, assuming they were fortunate to find one for which they were qualified. These are things employers and recruiters see, routinely.

If educators would ask, what employers will say, irrespective of venue, is it is not just academic knowledge that is lacking. Many students are equally deficient in their self-discipline; willingness to make an acceptable effort to do a job well; make a personal commitment to the mission, vision, and values of their organization; and, most of all, accept responsibility for meeting or exceeding the needs of their customer.  Many of these new employees have spent a good deal of the previous thirteen years learning how to do just enough to get by.

These are the things that drive advocates of “school choice.” These are the experiences that lead critics to blame our schools, our teachers, and their unions. These things will continue until the defenders of public education go on the offensive and direct attention to the flaws in the education process that are at the root of the struggles of both students and their teachers. Educators must recognize that our students are doing the same thing we would do if rarely, if ever, we were given the time we require to learn what we need to know to be successful.

The frustration teachers feel, and the burnout that threatens to drive them out of the profession, are consequences of these disillusioning experiences educators are forced to endure. Teachers who leave their profession do so because they believe in their hearts the best the education process allowed them to do did not meet the need of their students who were permitted to learn too many lessons badly and too few well. They are weary of being asked to do things that cannot and will not succeed.

Non-teachers reading these words are often thinking, “why don’t teachers say something to someone?” “Why don’t they pound on their desks?”

The answer is so many of them do, especially in their first few years of teaching. Teachers express their frustrations over the inefficacy of the education process every time they meet with their administrators to talk about students whose needs are not being met, or attend union or association meetings, or even when sitting across from a colleague in the faculty break room. How many years does it take before these dedicated professionals give in to the futility of complaining, and relent to the inevitable? Is it one, five, ten, or twenty years?

What our teachers and principals discover, at a point in the early portions of their careers, is the intransigence of the American education process and of its leaders and policy makers. Later we will offer evidence to affirm these assertions from multiple perspectives. Taken as a whole, the evidence of the inefficacy of the education process could not be more compelling.

We will begin with a preview of how The Hawkins Model© is designed to address the issues we have identified and follow that up by sharing what I observed in one middle school classroom in a diverse public school district. This was an opportunity to try a different approach and that led to the reimagination of the education process.

What Will This New Model Look Like and How Will it Work?

The first difference teachers and other educators will see upon examination of The Hawkins Model© is every aspect of our model is constructed around our belief in the primacy of relationships. We believe the value of everything in life is a function of the quality of our relationships with the people in our lives. When it comes to five-year old children arriving for their first day of kindergarten there is nothing more essential to their academic and emotional growth and development than close nurturing and sustained relationships with their teachers. This is equally true for their classmates in first through fifth grades. Healthy, affirming relationships with parents and classmates are also essential but, in the classroom, as we will discuss later, such relationships will flow through our students’ relationships with their teachers.

Restructure and Reorganize Classrooms, Teachers, and Students to Focus on Relationships

We begin by discontinuing the practice, beginning in kindergarten, of placing one teacher in a single classroom with somewhere between 25 to 35 student—usually closer to 35—for a single school year. Under The Hawkins Model© we will adopt a new strategy of assigning a team of three teachers to a single classroom with a total of no more than 45 students. Because these relationships must be enduring, if they are to meet the emotional needs of our children—our nation’s most precious assets—teachers and students will remain together, as a class, from kindergarten until they are ready to move on to what we now refer to as sixth grade.

The arbitrary practice of severing relationships between teachers and students at the end of every school year—relationships the majority of which are already insufficient—not only fails to achieve our purpose, but it also sabotages that purpose. Today, there are too few teachers assigned to too many students with more needs to which a single teacher can attend in the time available to them.

The bottom line is, if the key to learning is quality relationships, it must be the expectation for all students, without exception. Teachers are asked to think about what percentage of your favorites students—the kids with whom you have had the best relationships over the course of your career—were also your best students, academically. This correlation is not a coincidence. Also think about how few of the students with whom you had the best relationships were unsuccessful, academically and behaviorally.

Teaching to Academic Standards

Although teachers will still be required to teach to academic standards—and in acknowledgment of the millions of children who are not keeping pace and meeting the expectations identified in those standards—we will disregard what we believe to be the arbitrary schedules and timetables embedded in our academic standards. If we move students along as a class, all with the same expectations, it will be too fast for many kids, and too slow for others. Usually there are many more of the latter than there are of the former. No one wins in such situations.

No longer will we have two semesters to prepare kindergarten students for first grade. We will have twelve semesters to prepare them for middle school, six additional semesters to prepare them for high school, and another eight semesters to prepare them for graduation. As we will say, repeatedly, learning is the only thing that counts and the only thing that should be counted and, once a child learns, how long it took them becomes inconsequential.

Convert Time from a Fixed Asset that Constrains to a Variable Asset

To relieve teachers and students of the requirement to utilize time as a fixed asset, parceled out in measured segments, we will convert time to a variable resource, available to teachers and students in whatever quantities each requires. Just as kids learn to walk and talk at a pace dictated by their brains and bodies, kids do not all learn academic subject matter at the same pace or in the same way. The same is true with their emotional development. Some need more time than others. Once again, learning is the only thing that counts.

Addressing the Disparity in the Academic Preparedness and Emotional Development

We also know the disparity in academic preparedness and emotional development of children arriving for their first day of kindergarten is cavernous. To teach them, effectively, we must have a reasonable level of understanding of what our students know and what they have not yet learned. During the first weeks and months of kindergarten, the focus of teachers must be on developing relationships with students, helping students get to know one another and feel comfortable as members of their classrooms, and learning where each child needs to commence his or her academic and emotional journey.  

Teachers will utilize their skills and experience, any appropriate instruments of academic and emotional assessment available to them, and interactions with and observations of our students during play, and while they learn the initial lessons we offer, to assess each student’s level of academic preparedness and emotional development. We must strive to understand what each child needs to learn to get off to a successful start. That knowledge and understanding gained will be utilized by teachers to tailor an academic and emotional development plan to the unique needs of each student; a plan that is focused on building one successful learning experience on top of another.

            Given how controversial they have become, we want to distinguish between Individualized Education Plans (IEP) used with special needs students and the Tailored Academic Plans envisioned in our model. They are distinct documents used for different purposes.

Instruction and Learning with a Focus on Success

            Utilizing academic standards and the tailored academic plans of each individual student as a guide, teachers will prepare and utilize lesson plans to instruct students on subject matter. After the presentation, teachers will use their students’ mistakes on practice assignments, quizzes, and tests as learning opportunities just as they do in their classrooms, today. The problem under the existing education process and its adherence to a schedule, is that although teachers do their best, there are always more mistakes by more students than teachers have time to address. Each mistake by every student is a learning opportunity that must not be squandered.

Teachers will not be required to accept less than the best students can do or to push kids on to new lessons before they are ready, which we define as lacking the prerequisite knowledge prior lessons were intended to provide.

            Students who have not yet acquired the prerequisite knowledge needed for success in subsequent lessons will be given additional instruction, more attention, and more time to practice and learn from their mistakes. When a student appears to be ready, he or she will be offered “do-over” opportunities on quizzes and tests, not for the purpose of determining a grade or to evaluate his or her performance against the achievement of classmates, rather to assess whether they have attained proficiency in subject matter and are ready to move on with appropriate prerequisite knowledge. These are the laboratories in which the art of teaching is practiced.

We will talk often about proficiency, which is one of the targeted achievement levels developed by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)[2], which is part of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)[3] established by the U.S. Department of EducationThe NAEP defines proficiency as:

“Having a demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, including subject matter knowledge, application of such knowledge to real world situations, and analytical skills appropriate to subject matter.”

Essentially proficiency implies having sufficient understanding of subject matter so each student can utilize it throughout life, whether on future quizzes and tests, state competency exams given once per year, seeking qualification for enrollment and enjoying success in college or other education programs such as vocational training; qualifying for a job and being able to perform the work expected of them, and demonstrating eligibility for enlistment in the military services, to name the most obvious.

Building Solid Foundations

            Our objective with each of our students must be to help them construct a solid academic and emotional foundation on which they can pursue whatever dreams and aspirations they will choose for themselves, provide for themselves and their families, and participate in their own governance. Just as a mason assures each brick meets our specifications and is properly laid, teachers must be both expected and allowed to ensure each lesson provides our students with the prerequisite knowledge it was intended to impart.

This requires that students receive whatever time and attention they need in every lesson presented to them. Teachers and students exist in a reality in which expectations for students and teachers are unrealistic because of the way the existing education process is structured, staffed, tasked, and resourced. This is an example of how the American education process has become disconnected from its purpose. What we will be striving for, is to address the greatest irony in the field of education, which is that “learning is fun for kids until they begin school.” It is never fun to be in a situation where success is improbable or impractical. Failing and losing are never fun.

How Will We Measure Success

            We will measure academic success against two standards. The first is against “proficient,” which is having the ability to use in life what one has learned in school. Although somewhat arbitrary, we are proposing that, as a general practice, a score of eighty-five percent or more on any type of assessment be considered the threshold for successful learning. Additionally, a student’s progress will be measured against each student’s own past performance. What we reject, categorically, is measuring the achievement of students against the success of others.

            Rather than recording letter grades, we are looking for evidence of success on lessons as well as gradual acceleration of the pace of learning. There are no negative scores. As with every aspect of the practice and development of their craft, teachers will be encouraged to investigate new methods of recognition of success. They must have not only the freedom to innovate but the expectation of innovation, which is one of the essential purposes of our model.

How Can We Afford to Add Teachers?

            One of the other concerns expressed by teachers who are skeptical of the viability of my model is how we will be able to afford the increase in the number of teachers needed to staff the model in our reconfigured classrooms. Today, finding significant new funding for public schools is problematic, so badly has the public’s faith in community public schools eroded.  

Indiana provides a notable example that, because of its loss of faith in public schools, it is making a significant investment in its “school choice” tuition voucher program. Consider the investment relative to the number of students that will benefit.

In an article in Indiana Capital Chronicle dated April 27, 2023, it was reported Indiana[4] spends over $241 million in tuition subsidies so that 53,500 students can attend private schools at a cost of $4,512 per student. The number of students participating in the program is expected to increase to 95,000 by 2025, at a cost of $600 million or $6,315 per student. Our question is, if any state’s faith in public schools was reclaimed, “what would be the impact of those same investments on community public schools and their students?”

If Indiana, for example, were to invest that same $241.4 million in community public schools it could implement The Hawkins Model© in six “K to 2” classrooms in each of 412 elementary schools benefitting over 111,000[5] students (270 students X 412 schools). By 2025, an investment of $600 million could fund the implementation of our model in the “K to 2” classrooms of 952 schools serving over a quarter of a million students[6] across the state, or in all six elementary grades in each of approximately 476 schools. This is a cost of $2,174 per student.

We will let the readers decide for themselves how the cost-benefit ratio for this latter investment compares to spending that same amount of money to provide tuition subsidies for 95,000 students. Essentially, it is the difference between addressing the symptoms of the problems in public education instead of the root causes of the flaws that can be found in Indiana’s and America’s education process.

In that same article in the Indiana Capital Chronicle[7], Representative Phil Giaquinta, D – Fort Wayne,  (The House Minority Leader) is quoted as saying, “This budget is a handout for the state’s wealthiest families and individuals. Most people think that state subsidies go to the poor, but in the GOP supermajority they go to top earners.”

 We have two choices, if we stop to think about it. First, do we make the necessary investment in teachers to prepare our children for the responsibilities of citizenship, or do we spend comparable amounts to support the dependencies of young men and women who leave high school without the skills needed to fulfill their responsibilities? It truly is an either/or proposition.

Public education must do what all producers of new commercial products and services do. The people to whom we must appeal are consumers of education. We must give them something new, about which they can be excited . We must also consider that a quality education is our society’s intellectual infrastructure. We will not get to the future for which we are striving over the rickety bridge that represents education in America. The Hawkins Model© is that new and exciting product that will solidify the integrity of our society’s intellectual infrastructure.

[1] Hawkins, Mel, Reinventing Education, Hope, and the American Dream: The Challenge for Twenty-First Century America, CreateSpace and Kindle platforms through, 2013

[2] The Nation’s Report Card | NAEP (

[3] National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a part of the U.S. Department of Education and is a non-partisan agency that exists for no other purpose than to monitor the quality of education in the U.S.

[4] Indiana nears universal ‘school choice’ in new budget – Indiana Capital Chronicle (April 27, 2023)

[5] This assumes a current average annual salary for students in 2023 as $65,000

[6] These calculations assume the average teacher’s salary will have increased to $70,000 by 2025

[7] Indiana Capital Chronicle (April 27, 2023

TO THEREADER                                                                                                                           

CHAPTER 1 – SEE HOW DIFFERENT CLASSROOMS CAN BE                                         

The First Step in the Presentation of our New Model                                                            

What Teachers See in their Classrooms, Daily                                                                      

How will The Hawkins Model© Function and What Will it Look Like?                                                                              

      Restructure and Reorganize Classrooms, Teachers, and Students                             

       Teaching to Academic Standards                                                                               

       Convert Time from a Fixed to a Variable Asset                                                         

        Addressing the Disparity in Academic Preparedness and Emotional Development  

        Instruction and Learning with a Focus on Success                                                     

        Building Solid Foundations                                                                                        

         How Will We Measure Success?                                                                                

   The Birth of an Idea                                                                                                                

   Lessons from the Pandemic                                                                                                    

CHAPTER 2 – THE NEED FOR TRANSFORMATION                                                            

    What Qualifies Me?                                                                                                               

     The Neuroplasticity of the Human Brain, including Children                                               

     Evidence of functionality                                                                                                                                                                     

CHAPTER 3 – SITE PREPARATION FOR The Hawkins Model©                                           

      The Montessori Model                                                                                                           

      Distinguishing between System, People, and Process                                                           

       We Cannot Afford to Lose any more Teachers                                                                     

CHAPTER 4 – WHERE DO WE BEGIN?                                                                                   

      The Vision and Values of the American Democracy                                                        

              The Declaration of Independence                                                                            

              The Constitution of the United States of America                                                   

              The Gettysburg Address                                                                                            

        Focus on Outcomes                                                                                                                

CHAPTER 5 – LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR THE MODEL                                              

        Discarding the Past                                                                                                                

        The Neuroplasticity of the Brain                                                                                            

         Practicing the Art and Craft of Teaching                                                                               

         The Essential Variables of the Education Equation                                                               

                The Primacy of Relationships                                                                                    

                 Learning is the Only Thing that Counts                                                                     

                  Time is a Variable not a Fixed Asset                                                                         

                  Assessment and Tailored Academic Plan                                                                  

                  Success, a Powerful Motivating Force                                                                       

                   How We Keep Score                                                                                                  


CHAPTER 6 – THE IMPLEMENTATION O The Hawkins Model©                                             

        Step 1 – Clarifying Mission and Purpose                                                                               

        Step 2 – Objectives and Expectations                                                                                     

        Step 3 – What Do Students Need to Assure Success in Learning?                                        

         Step 4 – Where Do We Begin                                                                                               

                   Choosing Schools for Implementation                                                                       

                   What about Our Students?                                                                                          

         Step 5 – Organization and Structure                                                                                       

         Step 6 – Teaching Teams                                                                                                        

          Step 7 – Optimizing Teaching Staff                                                                                        

          Step 8 – Duration and Stability                                                                                                

          Step 9 – Reaching Out to Parents                                                                                           

          Step 10 – Assessment and Tailored Academic Plan                                                               

          Step 11 – The Learning Process                                                                                            

          Step 12 – Character, Creativity, Imagination, Service, and Civic Responsibility                 

          Step 13 – State of the Art Technology and Tools of Success                                                

          Step 14 – No Failure and No Waiting                                                                                             

          Step 15 – The Arts, Exercise, and Athletics                                                                           

          Step 16 – Performance Management and Metrics                                                                  

          Step 17 – High Stakes Testing                                                                                                

          Step 18 – Adaptability and Integrity of the Model                                                                 

          Step 19 – Relentless, Non-Negotiable Commitment                                                              

          Step 20 – The Power of Positive Leadership                                                                          

          Step 21 – Special Needs                                                                                                          

          Step 22 – The Role of Advocacy Groups                                                                                

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS                                                                                                               

LIST OF APPENDICES                                                                                                                      

APPENDIX I – A Lesson in Exponential Thinking                                                                            

APPENDIX II – Assertions and Assumptions, Bridges to Understanding                                         

APPENDIX III – Author Bio                                                                                                                

APPENDIX IV – Black, White or Any Color, They are Just Kids – They Need Us and We Them 

APPENDIX V – Education and Poverty are Interdependent no Cause and Effect                             

APPENDIX VI – Evidence of Dysfunctionality                                                                                  

      Other Evidence of Failure                                                                                                         

      What do the Results of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)  Tell Us        

      St. Joseph County (South Bend) and Allen County (Fort Wayne) in Indiana                          

      Disparate Outcomes                                                                                                                        

       Dissatisfied Customers                                                                                                              

       Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery ( ASVAB)                                                    

       Accumulation of Cs, Ds, and Fs                                                                                                

       Street Smart – The Same as any other “Smart”                                                                                 

       Look Around You