Entries by Jeanne Paynter, Ed.D

How to Prevent or Reverse Underachievement

Underachievement, simply stated, is the discrepancy between potential and performance.  All of us experience this phenomenon from time to time and observe it in our children and students. Some causes are clinical issues, such as depression, perfectionism, family dynamics, or situational crises. These require professional counseling. Other causes of underachievement are curriculum-based issues, such as […]

Why Smart Kids Fail

When I was in eighth grade, my mother returned home from a parent-teacher conference with my English teacher to report: “Miss Martin said you’d do fine if you would only apply yourself more.” Back then, “not applying yourself” was the term used to explain why an otherwise “smart kid” was pulling C grades (like I […]

Dear State Board: Mind the Excellence Gaps!

This Public Comment was delivered at the Meeting of Maryland State Board of Education: Good afternoon, my name is Dr. Jeanne Paynter and I am faculty in curriculum and instruction at McDaniel College and the Executive Director of Talent Program Solutions. I am here today to talk about the gravity of Excellence Gaps and suggest […]

How NOT to Choose a World-Class School

Charter schools, magnet schools, school vouchers, citywide schools.  It’s the language of school choice in public education, a bipartisan school reform movement that has outlasted most and gained momentum under the Obama administration.  The school choice movement borrowed from business a core strategy for product improvement—competition.  Schools competing for their market share of families theoretically […]

How to Become a Creative Original: Build Character

Suppose that your child or your student has just completed a praise-worthy task: Helped a friend with homework, took out the trash without being asked, written a thank you note.  Which form of reinforcing feedback would you use? It was a good thing to help your friend. You are a good friend. If you picked, […]

How to Raise (and Educate) the Next Steve Jobs

In October 2011, I was standing in an airport news stand trying to decide between two bestsellers side by side on the shelf.  First was the biography Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. The second was The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators (Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen).  I picked […]