High Achievement for All Students is Now Within Our Reach See We Can Do More and Better With Less by Thomas F. Kelly, PH D

by | Jul 15, 2019 | Featured Article | 2 comments

We have a 19th century school system in our 21st century society.

Our present education system’s structure was created 200 years ago for an agrarian society.  It was created primarily to educate mostly farmers and a small percentage of lawyers, teachers and other professionals (although they also served as apprentices to learn most of what they needed to practice their professions).

Our 21st century culture, which requires a high level of education for all, is still using that 19th century system structure.  The system requires students to fit the school’s structure.  The system must be restructured to meet the needs of all students.

For example, we often hear, “He is not ready for kindergarten (or not ready for High school)” This is backwards.  Who should be expected to be ready, the babies for kindergarten or the adult, trained, paid professionals for the babies?

My goal is to provide the means to create a system that can meet the needs of all our students all the time.  This system needs to provide the means to empower all teachers to do this.  It also needs to be done without requiring big increases in costs.  My book explains how this can be done with details and examples.  We can do more and better with less. It is a win-win-win book.  Students win, teachers win, and parents and taxpayers win.  Indeed, our economy wins and America wins.  Significantly improving our education system will result not only in higher achievement for all students but also elimination of the achievement gap (and the income gap which is a produced by the educational achievement gap), virtual elimination of failure and mediocrity in learning, elimination of discipline problems and dropouts, dramatic reduction of crime and prison populations, and improvement in many other societal needs.

When our educational system becomes highly effective for all students, we will significantly improve our productivity and economy and virtually eliminate poverty in our country.

All this can be done with existing resources and in some cases less.  Money is not the problem.  It never was the problem and it is not the problem now. The book describes in detail how this can be done. 


A few examples;

1          Middle and JHS high poverty area in the south Bronx, NYC, all minority students.  Most of my students were labeled “slow learners.”  I taught reading to five classes a day of 30 or more students. Most were below their grade levels in reading, some as much as 5 years below.  Each year virtually all my students gained from three to 5 years on standardized reading tests.  The average for the nation is one year’s gain for one year’s instruction.  There was nothing slow about them.  They were stuck in a dumb system.

2          Elementary Special education students in a middle-class area.  They virtually all gained more than a year for each year in my classes. Also, successful inclusion in many regular classes.

3          High school students in an affluent area.  They all gained more than 100 points per semester of instruction in my classes on the College Board Verbal SAT Test.

4          Adult basic education in the South Bronx, NY.  Adults who were all school dropouts were able to achieve H S Equivalency diplomas thus qualifying for many areas of employment that require an H S diploma.  Some went on to community college. 

5          17 years administrative experience in Public schools, at building and central office levels and as a state education department official for Effective Schools.

6          16 years college and graduate school teaching.  All my doctoral students (more than 100) successfully completed their doctorate.  Doctoral programs can be empowering too. 


Five graduate degrees including two master’s degrees in American History and Teaching Social Studies, two professional diplomas (6th year certificates) in Reading Instruction and Educational Administration, and a PH D in Educational Psychology from Fordham University with emphasis on cognitive psychology, learning theory and tests, measurements and statistics.


My book is theoretically based on the Systems ideas of W. Edwards Deming, Psychology of William Glasser, the Philosophy of Aristotle and what I have learned in my applications of their work to education.


It is going to happen one way or another.  This book can catalyze the process and significantly increase its efficiency and speed.  If public education is to survive, it must be the first to do it.  If not, others will.

Website: http://wecandomoreandbetterwithless.com


  1. Melissa

    Glad to have read this book! There needs to be a major reform in America’s educational system.

    • rebecca

      I agree! Everyone must enjoy equal opportunities to live a better life!


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