The Spokesman Review, Spokane’s major paper, published a report about teachers, principles, and superintendents found cheating in Atlanta. They mentioned that some similar forms of cheating had been caught in Spokane back when the WASL carried weight (for schools) here, and concluded that No Child Left Behind and sudden standard increases are impractical. The text reads:
“What these scandals show is that political pressure for sudden results can ultimately cheat the students. Education improvement takes time. We need to have the patience to let it happen.”
Uhh… Kind of.
I don’t have all the answers on Education. My previous post lays out where I was on this issue not long ago. But some things are fairly straightforward about grading education; I will list them.
First, One universal test is not the best way to grade a school, just as one universal test isn’t the way to grade students. So NCLB has a rewrite in store, if not an overhaul.
Secondly, grading a teacher or a school is not that difficult, but has been purposely obfuscated by those who have an interest in NOT BEING GRADED AT ALL. These people are particularly good at avoiding the issue, since they see their students give every type of excuse for not being graded each school year. A multi-faceted review isn’t perfect, but neither was my last performance review with Glacier Real Estate Services. People who teach can grade other people who teach quite well; just because you and I don’t know the intricate details, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I’ll expand on this point more tomorrow.
Thirdly, and in this I agree with the article, yearly progress is the best measure of a student’s actual progress. Common, smaller, and oft-taken standardized tests will provide a much better measure of both progress through the year and material lost over the summer holiday.