Public Education a Need and a Fix

I read an article about public education and as I contemplated the article I made some notes.  The problem with public education in Texas is not that we teach to the test.  Testing allows us to rate schools and hold administrators accountable.  As a politician I learned that people want accountability of their schools.  Testing and accountability go hand in hand, side by side.  Dallas ISD is going through a rigmarole right now looking for the perfect superintendent, the Real Superman.  And let us not kid ourselves, Dallas is looking for Superman.  Once located, that Superman is going to be paid a good bundle of money to produce results.  That Superman is going to have one mandate – improve test scores.  Guess what the marching orders to the principals and staff is going to be?  The staff will look under every rock for a program that guarantees improved test scores.  Principals will have to implement whatever program is bought and whatever they find on their own.  All these programs will have one objective in common, improve test scores.  Testing was not intended to give birth to a test culture, the test culture evolved from the demand placed on superintendents to improve test scores.  There is only one measure used to hold superintendents accountable, test scores.  The job security of all administrators is based on test results.  There may be other factors that are cursorily considered, but their importance is miniscule compared to test results.  I believe that the state has a vested interest in knowing how well our children are being taught therefore testing should be a viable tool to assess performance.  The food chain would look something like this; legislature, school board, superintendent, staff, principals, teachers, students.  Theoretically, the community would be the legislature.  Once report cards are issued to superintendents, report cards are passed down to the principal and then the teacher.  Some superintendents began competing against other school districts to be the best. That is probably how test culture originated, but then it is just a guess.  Job security probably has a lot more to do with test culture than anything else.  If you are at the top of the food chain and get fired, there are not those many places to go for a job. The real question is “how can you have accountability without creating a test culture?” 

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Published in: on March 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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