Tuesday, 22 October 2013

10:01 – Until now, we’ve been tracking sales both as unit sales and revenue, but I think we may bag the unit sales aspect and just track revenues. When I was analyzing 2013 versus 2012 sales yesterday, I noticed something odd. We were selling more kits in October 2012 than we are this month, but revenues this month are noticeably higher. As it turns out, that’s because we introduced the prepared slide sets last October and a lot of people ordered them alone. In fact, about 1/3 of our unit sales in October 2012 were for just a slide set. That’s why the average revenue per kit for October 2012 was only about $132, versus about $200 this October. Back in January, I changed the way I counted kits. Instead of recording one $52 slide set as a unit sale, I started grouping stuff, such as recording every four slide sets as one unit sale. Obviously, that cuts down this year’s unit sales numbers noticeably. But on a YTD revenue basis, we’re holding at just a bit under twice last year’s sales, which is what really matters.

Most of our increase in 2012 to 2013 revenues has been a result of having additional types of kits available. If we’re going to maintain a year-on-year doubling of revenues in 2014, we’re going to need more types of kits. That’s why I’m working hard right now to get the Earth Science kit ready to go.

12:24 – I was talking to Kim about the latest school shooting, tying it in with what she’d told me earlier about bullying in local schools. Jasmine attended Mount Tabor high school which is one of the “good” local schools. From what Kim said, even there bullying is rampant. Jas wasn’t victimized badly compared to some, but Kim said she “had her moments” of being harrassed by “mean girls”. Fortunately for her, Jas was popular and well-liked so she sufferred much less than many students.

Much though many “educators” try to deny it, boys are not girls and cannot be turned into girls. Boys have Y chromosomes and testosterone. No matter how much they have been “socialized” and drugged-up on prescription pharmaceuticals, boys are genetically warriors. When a girl is pushed too far, she may fight back physically, but she’s liable just to give up and kill herself. When a boy is pushed too far, there’s a real danger that he will arm himself and go berserk, in the original sense of that word. Note that school shooters are boys, not girls.

Unfortunately, I see no way to fix this problem. Doing so would require big changes to society in general and public schools in particular. Those changes aren’t going to happen, so the discussion centers around useless measures such as how to keep guns out of the hands of would-be berserkers, which isn’t going to happen, or how to secure sites that are not securable. I see no future for public schools. Political considerations have made them nearly useless at their putative tasks. Public schools are losing the bright kids in droves, as their parents abandon public schools for private schools and home-schooling. The ratio of kids on the left side of the bell curve to those on the right enrolled in public schools has skyrocketed just in the last ten years, and the departure of the best and brightest continues to accelerate. Before much longer, the overwhelming majority of kids enrolled in public schools will be those whose parents are too stupid or lazy to care.

The way out of this mess is to let the traditional public schools collapse of their own weight. Public schooling has come to be considered a right. North Carolina, for example, enshrines that right in its Constitution. But, although the Constitution says the state has to provide an education to all children, it’s silent on how to provide that education. Nothing requires that the government operate the schools. North Carolina could go to a 100% voucher-based system. Let the public schools compete head-on with private schools and home schools. Let the vouchers be paid for by having state and federal funding belong to each student, to be spent how and where the parents choose. When a public school loses a student, it also loses the funding for that student. As always, the free market will allocate resources immensely better than any government bureaucracy.