Sunday, May 01, 2011

Support education, support jobs

This from David Adkisson in C-J:
Congress is scheduled to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As chairman of the U.S. Chamber's Education Committee, I will join Chamber President Tom Donahue and former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings this week in Washington to meet with congressional leaders and release the U.S. Chamber's recommendations for reform....
  • High academic standards and assessments for all students. Each state should hold all students to the same challenging, relevant academic standards. States must continue annual assessments of every child in reading and math.
  • Rigorous accountability for all schools. To ensure college and career readiness, we must maintain a strong accountability system that sets annual targets, a deadline for producing results, disaggregates results of different types of students and includes all students in all schools.
  • Clear information and real choices for parents and students. Meaningful options, including charter schools, and clear information should be provided to all families, particularly those whose children are trapped in persistently low-performing schools.
  • Recognize and reward effective teachers and principals. States should create systems to identify, develop and retain effective faculty who produce real gains in student achievement and in closing the achievement gap. These systems should determine decisions about tenure, compensation, rewards, equitable access to effective teachers and dismissal.
  • Tenure policies often hamstring local officials' ability to ensure that students have access to the most effective teachers. Federal law should encourage, not inhibit, state and local efforts to make changes in these policies to quickly and fairly remove ineffective teachers who fail to improve.
  • Taxpayer accountability and information. Federal education policy should encourage innovation and promote what works to improve student performance and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. This includes supporting data systems that inform decision-making at all levels by providing timely and accurate information to educators, parents, taxpayers and the public, and by supporting analysis and use of that data.


Anonymous said...

I often wonder if I'm too simple-minded in the area of reform/accountability. Wouldn't it make sense to place *some* of the accountability for student progress on...students and parents? How to accurately measure/quantify those factors could be "tricky" but...all stakeholders should share some responsibility, in my humble opinion. As it stands now, the pervasive thought that "it's someone else's fault/job/etc" is perpetuated.

Richard Day said...

May 1, 2011 9:05 AM: Oh, you want it to make sense!?

: )

You can fairly assess student learning to an acceptable degree of accuracy in the largest percentage of cases...

And, gauging a teacher's contribution to the knowledge and skills of his or her students is central to the enterprise. But our great desire to measure it will not reduce the complexity of task.

We need to be careful whenever we use data to evaluate people and programs. Lot's of things go into a given student's success or failure.

I don't see any meaningful way to quantify parent factors, without changing the basic fabric of our free society. But I feel ya.

There sure does seem to be a generalized culture of blame these days. But as the supreme court has suggested, the cure for speech you don't like, is more speech. So thanks for speaking up.