In response to the post, “A Reader Recommends,” a reader writes:
“I too agree with the posted comment with one caveat: the days of teaching what we love SHOULD be long gone. Unfortunately, the practice is alive and well and will be for a long time to come. The post is correct in stating that accountability is here to stay. But state or federal level accountability will not move us forward at any realistic pace. The way around “love units” is a well designed and delivered curriculum.
The accountability we seek should then be self-imposed by the way of short-term common assessments. Benchmarks are out and are almost useless (that is another discussion), but short, frequent common assessments that are aligned to the curriculum keeps everything honest.
A wise man once told me, “if you have a curriculum without common assessments you don’t have a curriculum, you have a myth.” Get a curriculum, conduct common assessments aligned to that curriculum, hold yourself accountability to your common assessment goals, and you will be on your way to NOT having to worry about state or federal accountability. I assure you that if you have the best curriculum ever invented but leave out the common assessments (and internal accountability) aligned to that curriculum, love lessons will creep back in.”
You are dead on. The great schools (schools that consistently out perform their peers) have always held themselves accountable to higher standards that what is mandated by external entities. External accountability raises the floor. Internal accountability raises the ceiling. The lever for constant, incremental improvement, that allows a campus to exceed all expectations is the disciplined execution of the Foundation Trinity.
Think. Work. Achieve.