School Accountability Diet
One of the best things the feds ever created was the nutritional information panel for food.
When I go shopping, I can quickly and easily access information about the food I buy. There's how much fat in these power bars??!! Look-- twinkies have far fewer calories than I imagined!
The panels are a model of transparency, because the information is there for me to do with as I will. Years ago I didn't care at all about dietary fiber; nowadays, it's something I can stand to pay attention to. Protein was never a big deal, but since my wife is currently constructing a pair of twins, we pay attention to how much protein there is in the food we bring home. And we can shift our attention as new information becomes available-- different types of fat or cholesterol used to be non-issues, but now informed consumers know there are distinctions that matter.
Think of how much better this system works than one in which food was rated or ranked. If the feds slapped on labels that said "These bagels get a B+" or "These frozen waffles are the 215th-ranked food in this grocery store." I would have virtually no information on which to base my judgment, with the whole complex issue of the many characteristics of food and how it balances against what I need and want in my diet-- that would all be reduced to a piece of data so narrow and limited and opaque as to be meaningless, useless for me in making a decision.
This is how I know that many reformsters who advocate for school grades and rankings "so that parents can make an informed choice" are lying-- they are neither supporting parents nor choice.
To support a grade or ranking, rather than a simple transparent data system like the nutritional information labels, you would have to believe one of the following
1) Parents aren't capable of understanding and processing the information, so we'll have to process it CURMUDGUCATION: School Accountability Diet: