Accountability without the tools and resources necessary to meet the required standards is hypocritical policy.
Just for you, the policy makers in the state houses across the country, I’m going to share a little “Real School – 101.”
The variable most highly correlated to student performance is wealth of the family. No judgment attached to this statement, just fact. Meaning, that if all things are equal, the child from a more affluent family will outperform (academically) the child of a less affluent family.
The practical implication of this FACT is to just meet minimum standards the school serving the least affluent students needs the most resources (comparatively). Which also means that “fairness is not sameness;” school funding should be weighted, but that is another topic for a later discussion.
For school serving economically disadvantaged students, without additional resources, accountability standards can be such that meeting them is a near impossible task. Hence, the completely predictable (if the policy makers would have listened) fatal flaw of NCLB.
At the very minimum, schools and teachers serving the most at-risk students must be provided with an aligned to the standards scope and sequence, basic data disaggregation tools, on-going training, and implementation time.
Sadly, the most vocal proponents of accountability in the political arena seemingly view accountability standards as a way to justify NOT allocating resources to the schools that serve the most fragile of learners. Which would lead a prudent person to infer that a better education for all is not their true agenda.
Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…
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