Children – left behind or lost?

August 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Michelle Rhee is the school superintendent who best represents the current U. S. emphasis on teacher accountability. Now, the legitimacy of her district’s test scores is being questioned.
This is a large, complicated issue that can’t be reduced to three or four statements in a news story’s lede. It would seem obvious that school reform is something that requires the work and support of the entire community.
Does this mean that teachers are powerless to improve students’ performance? Absolutely not. However, the “testing” done by No Child Left Behind is mostly useless and very open to cheating. You have to spend money to do meaningful evaluation and the results won’t be summarized by a simple number. Similarly, improving instruction requires improving a set of skills that number in the hundreds.  Business and industry wouldn’t use a few numbers to evaluate and improve employee performance – why would it be different in public education?


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