The Second (of Many) Problem with the A-F School Rating System

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Earlier this week, I wrote that the Texas School Accountability System in its current form is morally flawed.

 

Again, this from a person who believes that school accountability done correctly is good for the profession.

 

Here is why I know this is the system is morally flawed.

 

The bureaucrats defending the system will dangle the following carrot for schools serving significantly large economically disadvantaged and at-risk student populations…

 

“A big driver in your rating is your ability to close the achievement gap. Think of this as a safety net. And this safety net really isn’t in play for the affluent schools. So, you see… Everyone is equal. Just some schools are more equal than others.”

 

Here is the short version of the math explaining why this is a huge pile of manure.

 

When you hold the quality of instruction, content exposure and motivation equal, then the primary driver of student performance is enriched life experience. The more enriched your life experience, the better you are able to leverage the instructional program.

 

Which means that a school that improves its instructional program across the board, for all students, will better student performance for all students. But, and this is critical, the school will also increase the achievement gap. This is because the only performance variable the school can’t control, enriched life experience, is still in play… As will always be the case.

 

A system that holds out false hope for those schools serving our most at-risk students and then punishes those schools for not being able to win an unfair contest is morally flawed.

 

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

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The First (of Many) Problem with the A-F School Rating System
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