Tag Archive for accountability

3 Ways Teachers Can Support Special Ed Parents, Like Me

Just three days into my son Taylor’s first week of kindergarten, I began receiving phone calls about his behavior. According to the school, Taylor spent a great deal of time under his desk, and would often wander out of the classroom. He found it difficult to sit still for long periods of time, and would cope by rocking back and… Read more →

A “new” accountability plan for Illinois high schools–with the same old status quo

Last week, I wrote broadly about Illinois’ new accountability plan, where the goals promised “a focus on equity and excellence for all students” but where the details appear to fall far, far short of that. Understanding this plan is not yet cast in stone, let’s look at one area where Illinois seeks to break new ground but only clears a… Read more →

Try these 4 ideas to transform teaching profession and modernize our public schools

If you Google the terms “teacher shortage” and “teacher turnover,” your hits will light up rather forebodingly. Obviously local conditions affect individual districts in a variety of ways, so not all schools or regions are suffering to the same degree. However, there does seem to be a fairly broad-based national problem of recruitment and retention of K-12 teachers that is… Read more →

Illinois’ school accountability plan fails on pillar promises of equity and transparency

Illinois released the latest draft of its public school accountability plan last week­– 164 pages of policy that is supposed to reassure the public and parents that our state will “ensure a focus on equity and excellence for all students.” I’m not reassured. Yes, there are things to like in this plan. It rightly shifts the accountability focus on student… Read more →

Time to focus on principals, the linchpin of school improvement

Back in the day, when I was an education reporter and trying to figure out where to find the school stories that would illuminate something revealing or surprising, I was given a great piece of advice by a veteran principal: “Study their budgets and look at how they spending their discretionary dollars. It will tell you a lot about what… Read more →

Analyzing high school performance state by state? Like comparing bananas to bowling balls

I know we’re all supposed to be on the “local control” bandwagon when it comes to setting school accountability standards, but a recent report made it crystal clear why this is going to be a hot mess. Achieve–an independent education nonprofit focused on high standards and raising graduation standards–set out to measure how well students are doing nationwide when it… Read more →

How high schools hide dropouts-and cheat students out of a real diploma

Orlando’s Olympia High boasts a 90 percent graduation rate — not counting students who go to an alternative school where few graduate. High schools are inflating graduation rates and test scores by steering low achievers to alternative schools, reports ProPublica and USA Today. When they drop out, nobody’s accountable. Heather Vogell and Hannah Fresques focus on Orlando, Florida, where district… Read more →

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