So what do you think of this?
Officially, the “evaluation rubric” adopted by the State Board of Education this month is “an accountability system designed to help all schools continuously improve.”What are the areas that will be graded?
But by grading schools that serve California’s 6-plus million K-12 students on “10 areas critical to student performance,” the system – whose precise details are yet to emerge – moves away from traditional academic standards into fuzzier areas. And that will likely make it more difficult for parents and the larger public to determine what’s really happening, or not, in the classroom...
Assembly Bill 2548, now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature (unlikely) or veto (more likely) would embrace “multiple measures” but put more emphasis on academic achievement and comply with a new federal school law that requires low-performing schools to be identified.
Brown, taking his cue from Michael Kirst, the state school board’s president, championed an overhaul of school finance that gives districts with large numbers of poor or “English-learner” students extra money to raise their academic performances and close the “achievement gap” to which Weber refers.
Brown and Kirst, however, have been curiously reluctant to adopt tight oversight of how local schools are spending the extra billions and whether they are, in fact, having an academic effect. Brown has cited “subsidiarity” – leaving implementation to local school officials – as his mantra.
Their preferences mesh with those of professional educators and teacher unions, which dislike what they see as the punitive approaches of past state and federal policies.
Without tighter supervision, critics counter, local school officials are under great pressure to spend – or squander – the billions of extra dollars on salary increases and other items that don’t directly benefit what are called “at risk” kids, who are about 60 percent of the state’s students.
There are already indications that the extra money is being siphoned into broader categories of spending and that the “Local Control and Accountability Plans” that districts are adopting to guide spending are wordy, confusing and ineffective.
The accountability system approved by the State Board of Education will rate schools not only on standardized test scores, but also on the progress of English learners, high school graduation rates, college and career readiness and, initially, suspension rates. School districts also will measure campuses for school climate, parent engagement, implementation of state academic standards, services for expelled students and adequate instruction and facilities...Oh, there's something mental here all right. How do you evaluate schools on career readiness? What kind of parent engagement will be considered good, and what kind bad? If no students were suspended, would schools be safer, would academic achievement soar?
“What we have today is something we haven’t had before ... a mental model,” said board member Patricia Ann Rucker.
This is softheadedness taken to new and dramatic extremes.
The State Board of Education proposal would replace the three-digit API that was suspended in 2013 when the state adopted new standardized tests that adhere to Common Core State Standards. While the score gave communities and education officials an easy way to compare schools, critics said it was too grounded in test scores and ignored other factors that reflect school performance.Why would you care about any "school performance" except the learning of children?
What must it be like on the logical side of the looking glass?
(I completely altered the last third or so of this post not long after posting it.)