Latest 5-Star review of “Light and Transient Causes”

Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Rated 5 stars. This one will become a future classic., March 23, 2017
By vermont reviewer

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This review is from: Light and Transient Causes (Kindle Edition)
Light and Transient Causes by Mel Hawkins reminded me of other classics like 1984 and animal farm. Well written and certainly one that will make you think long after you finish reading it. I was impressed with the story and I thought the author did a wonderful job with the characterization in the story. I would love to read more novels by this author. I have rated the story a solid 5 stars.

An Open Letter to Public School Superintendents

Below is a letter being sent to superintendents of public school districts in the U.S.

The solution to the problems in public education is so simple, conceptually, that most educators seem unable to see it. The over-riding objective is: “Don’t let kids fail!”

How we keep children from failing is by restructuring the educational process in such a way that every child is given as much time as they need to learn a given lesson. This model is constructed on the premise that education is not a race to see who learns the most the fastest and where how they finish becomes part of their permanent record and the basis on which future expectations are set. Rather, it is a process by which students learn as much as they are able at their own best speed and where performance is a function of their progress along their own unique path.

Here is a letter mailed to the first group of superintendents:

Dear Superintendent:

It is frustrating when whatever you do, the performance of schools serving disadvantaged kids seems intractable. Please consider the possibility that the educational process in public education is poorly designed to meet the needs of these kids. In operations management there is an axiom that if a process produces unacceptable outcomes no matter how hard people work, the process is flawed. The only way to get the outcomes we want and need is to replace or reinvent the process.

I am seeking at least one public school superintendent who is open to the idea that kids should not have to fail. Just one man or woman who is willing to believe there is a solution for disadvantaged kids and who is searching for a new idea that might work.

I am a writer and former leadership and organizational development consultant who, in 2002, gave up consulting to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing books. During the 10-year period from 2002 to 2012, in which I wrote 3 books, I worked, part-time, as a substitute teacher for Fort Wayne Community Schools. This turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to walk in the shoes of public school teachers.

That experience has given me a unique perspective in that I have witnessed and experienced the challenges teachers face but am able to evaluate what I felt and saw from the point of view of an independent consultant. As a consultant, my job was to help clients examine their business processes to understand why they were getting disappointing outcomes and then guide them toward a solution. Invariably, this required that their processes be re-engineered. What I also learned is that there is always a solution if one can look outside the boundaries of conventional thinking.

Although the overwhelming majority of public school teachers are dedicated professionals doing the best they can within what I describe as a flawed process, they have been blamed for the problems in public education so vehemently that they are, understandably, defensive. This is unfortunate because teachers are perfectly positioned to translate what they see in their classrooms into meaningful advocacy. Teachers know the educational process is flawed every time a student shows up in their classrooms so far behind that he or she has stopped trying. They know the process is broken each time they must move a class on to the next lesson, knowing there are students who are not ready. They know something is wrong whenever they must record an “F” in their gradebook or are asked to help a student qualify for graduation when that student has made minimal effort over a four-year period.

I urge you to take time to review the educational model I have developed and the accompanying white paper that provides an overview of the logic behind the model as well as the findings and conclusions offered in my book, Reinventing Education, Hope, and the American Dream: The Challenge For Twenty-First Century America. You can find the model and white paper at http://www.melhawkinsandassociates.com/education-model-white-paper/.

I am seeking a public school corporation willing to test my model in one of its lowest performing elementary schools. In school districts throughout the U.S. there are elementary schools where students perform well below their counterparts in other schools in their community and around the state, as measured by standardized competency exams. This is not a new phenomenon and has, in fact, been a pattern that can be traced back to the beginning of high-stakes testing and before. By the time these students reach middle school, their performance drops, suggesting that the further along they move through their K-12 academic career, the further behind they fall. By the time these students reach high school, many have given up and have stopped trying. Our teachers and principals see this, routinely. It need not be this way!

Would it not be worthwhile, and in the best interests of students, to examine a new idea? Imagine being the first school district to lead the nation in meaningful educational reform that actually changes the lives of American students?

I look forward to the opportunity meet with you to discuss my model and white paper and invite you to contact me at (260) 740-8285. We still have time to implement my model in the fall semester of the 2017/2018 school year.

Most public school educators have found it difficult to envision any other way to do what they do. Surely there is someone out there who can.

Sincerely,

Mel Hawkins, BA, MSEd, MPA

Light and Transient Causes, a novel – FREE, Today (3/6/17) Only!

Today, March 6, my novel, Light and Transient Causes, will be featured as the book of the day at onlinebookclub.org. The Kindle version of the book will be available at Amazon.com for free until Midnight on 3/6.

There will be multiple shares on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, and posts on LinkedIn as well as emails. Please like and share or retweet as often as you are able to as many of your contacts as you can and ask your friends and connections to do the same.
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Light and Transient Causes
It would be great if people would read the book and post a positive review on Amazon.com. Because the book is free, however, it would be nice if they download it even if they are not sure they will read it. The more the book is downloaded, the more attention it will generate.

If you do not have a Kindle you can download a free Kindle app that will allow you to download Kindle books on your smart phone and/or your computer. When you find yourself stuck somewhere it is pretty cool to be able to pull up and read a book on your smart phone.

I know this is a lot to ask of people but I believe this book is important given what is happening in the US, today. It is a story about what could go wrong if the American people became so dissatisfied with their government that they elected an authoritarian outsider as president on the basis of his promise to “restore peace and prosperity” (make America great again) at any cost. If such a president was bold enough to disparage the election process, silence the press, and discredit the judiciary and Congress, thereby weakening our system of checks and balances, they would be in a position to do great harm to democracy.

It’s the old saying: “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

The lesson to be learned is that the Americans must participate in their own governance and remain vigilant in protecting the civil liberties of the American people, in all of our diversity.

If ever there was a time that was right for this story it is now!

Thanks so much for your help and support!