This post was inspired by:
Miss. House OKs bill aimed at improving schools – http://www.sunherald.com/218/story/1127873.html
JACKSON, Miss. — Supporters say a bill that cleared the Mississippi House on Monday would force public schools to meet higher standards of accountability.
Here is my position in the accountability debate:
1) Accountability benefits children. When we as educators have to reflect on our practice in terms of improving student performance, that is a good thing. I can tell you from first hand observation and experience, the needs of poor and minority students are better met when jobs are at stake.
2) Accountability has to have a value added component. If it does not, then in practical terms there is a double standard. Without a value added component, schools and teachers that serve poor and minority students are forced to adapt and improve to survive. Schools and teachers that serve high SES students can choose to adapt if they want to. A fair system would ensure that every school is accountable for improvement.
3) Accountability without the tools and resources to make it happen is an almost impossible task. At the very minimum, schools and teachers must be provided with scope and sequence support, basic data disaggregation tools, and implementation time.
4) No matter what the accountability standard, the raw numbers don’t come close to telling the whole story. Look for the schools, principals and teachers who significantly out perform their peers. That’s where the real improvement lessons reside.