Updating schools

03 May

FACT: An education system is made up of a complex interplay of several interconnected factors that include parents, the community, the economy, culture, media, and local, state and federal governments.FACT: High stakes testing ensures that teachers and students are held accountable for the entire education system including the vast majority of factors beyond their control.This is better than having testing be the sole measure or even the most important one. The law requires each district to identify specific goals and spending priorities in eight areas. But we needn’t resort to money-making corporate products.I would modify them as follows: Which brings us back to testing. Teachers have been creating tests since the beginning of time.When it comes to how funding is spent, we either throw up our hands that there’s no way to evaluate school funding or we pretend that school directors will be transparent just because. I still believe that local control is the best way to ensure true accountability.When school directors are not elected but appointed– as they are in charter schools – there is no reason to spend wisely.However, this does not mean there are no ways to assess if schools, superintendents, administrators, teachers, and students are doing a good job. And we don’t need a single standardized test to do it. We must assess student learning, but we also must assess the adequacy of school funding, where it’s going and where it needs to go.These measures are most often ignored in accountability discussions.

updating schools-19

When society neglects this, it is society that is failing, not poor children.When it comes to true accountability, we need to look beyond the school at all the factors involved.We also need to look to the legislature, the taxpayers, parents, the community, the media, and all stake holders.When it comes to adequate funding, we usually blame the poor for being unable to provide for their children.And since many states allocate education funding based largely on local property taxes, we have rich schools with oodles of cash and poor schools that are falling over.