Friday, October 7, 2016

Is California's new accountability plan "gobbledygook"? — PS connect

Is California's new accountability plan "gobbledygook"? — PS connect:

Is California's new accountability plan "gobbledygook"? 

Joe Mathews of KCRW's Zocalo thinks so.

I listened to Mathews complain about California's new accountability plan today on Los Angeles' NPR affiliate. He said the new program, which gives feedback on multiple measures rather than API, is confusing and lacks coherence.

He's missing the purpose of this shift.

“People want simplicity (that test scores provide) but simplicity hasn’t gotten us very far,” said former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig, in anEdsource interview. “We really have to look at the breadth of what is going on.”

If we encourage parents to choose a school based on a Yelp-like rating, we're encouraging a superficial look--usually based on test scores.

The new accountability plan aims to give parents a picture of many aspects of a school. That's important, because more and more research shows that test scores are a result of a lot that is beyond a school's control.

Encouraging parents to look at the many aspects of the school is a good thing.
Through most of the years of my children's education, schools were reduced to a single number. That meant that schools that were well-resourced, with students who were well supported at home and easy to teach scored high, while those schools that served needier students scored lower.
Should I look only at schools with one type of student? No. Diversity is better than division.

Walgrove Elementary school in my neighborhood of Venice has had a stellar special education program whose families are embraced by the whole school community. It's a large part of the culture of the school. So special ed students come from all over. This impacted the school's overall test scores for a while, making 
Is California's new accountability plan "gobbledygook"? — PS connect:

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