I found Illinois’ accountability plan woefully inadequate and full of holes–especially when it comes to protecting vulnerable groups of students–so imagine my surprise when my state was awarded a “perfect score” by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Fordham analyzed the plans submitted by all fifty states and the District of Columbia under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). and scored them… Read more →
Tag Archive for Every Student Succeeds Act
Six theories on why no one seems to give a crap about the new school accountability law
The Every Student Succeeds Act—the federal education law that required all states to define what success looks like for 100,000 public schools and 50 million public school students nationwide–will go into full effect this year. But you’d never know that from asking everyday parents and educators about the accountability law. No one is talking about it. No one is paying attention to what… Read more →
Illinois’ accountability plan doesn’t work for our kids–and thankfully, the feds told them so
It’s comforting to learn that the feds (i.e. The U.S. Department of Education run by Secretary Betsy DeVos) has some serious concerns about Illinois accountability plans. When I first saw Illinois’ plan, I concluded that it fell far short of its goals around equity and transparency, and wrote about those failings here and here. Illinois was among the first states… Read more →
Help parents by making school climate surveys a part of every state’s accountability plan
Whenever parents would get into a discussion about “good schools” and “bad schools,” I would urge them to look beyond the simple rankings of test scores and try to actually get inside a school. Meet the principal. Watch the children interact. Observe a classroom. Get a feel for the place. If it sounds squishy and subjective, well that’s because it… 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 →
We need school accountability that doesn’t leave our babies behind
Ask any public school parent—including me—about what happens when your child is in the earliest elementary grades, and you may get an earful about what is missing from their classroom experiences. Our current school accountability policies encourage school leaders to invest in grades that are tested, leaving the leftovers for the early, untested grades. In some schools, it’s an open… Read more →
How do we get past the fatigue, frustration, and fear of our national ed reforms?
We need a new paradigm if we are to transform our public schools. The 19th century factory model of education has certainly run its course, and continuing to scaffold new programs and promises onto a “seat time centered” public school structure is a losing proposition because it fundamentally fails to meet student educational needs. The key to real improvement is,… Read more →
Does a Diploma Really = An Education?
The New York Times recently decided it was time to admit the blindingly obvious. An article entitled “As Graduation Rates Rise, Experts Fear Diplomas Come Up Short” discusses the unmistakable link between declining academic standards and rising high school graduation rates. The article points out that more young men and women are graduating from high school thanks to the lazy… Read more →