It is often said by teachers and advocates of the status quo that “all” or “nearly all” teachers are excellent and that any effort to create accountability or actually measure effectiveness is deemed to be “teacher bashing.”
And then there are articles by those who have seen behind the magic curtain like this one. Certainly, there are aspects of accountability measures like testing that can lead to incentives for teachers to “teach to the test,” cheat, or simply focus their efforts on those students most likely to help them generate positive results on these tests.
That’s why testing can only be one part of the education reform agenda (and it can be a useful tool in measuring student progress). True education reform must involve dramatically-enhanced educational choice on the part of parents and students (as was done in the 90s in Florida and more recently in Louisiana). Governor Martinez and Sec. Skandera are working to implement education reform 1.0 (Florida) here in New Mexico. Louisiana has moved on to 2.0. Will we be left behind on this second wave of reform as well?
HT: John Onstad