Thursday, April 20, 2006

Obama On Education

Senator Barrack Obama thinks our schools suck.

One study shows that two groups of students who started third grade at about the same level of math achievement finished fifth grade at vastly different levels. The group with the effective teacher saw their scores rise by nearly 25%. The group with the ineffective teacher actually saw their scores drop by 25%.
To hold schools and teachers accountable for the results of all these reforms, districts that don't improve would be removed from the program. To find out what works and what doesn't, we'd provide them with powerful data and technology, and also give them the option of partnering with local universities to help them improve performance.

(Not so) Suprising is that there no talk about dropping teachers out of the program. In the example that he sites the teachers will both get the same raise as negotiated by their union. Both teachers will have job security. Both teachers will get the same benefits.

How can we talk about making our schools and teachers accountable when only the schools suffer the consequences? You can't make schools accountable until teachers are made accountable. Teachers will not become accountable (and can you blame them) until there is a price for failure.

There is much more said (wrong) and left out of the speech, but don't take my word for it, read it yourself.

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