The NEA for some reason seems dead-set against any sort of accountability, and has filed suit against the “No Child Left Behind” act, which the President was quizzed about last night.  Setting aside the socialist tendencies of the NEA and the constitutionality of federal funding for education, I want to consider the notion of accountability.

My work is constantly checked and reviewed to guarantee that my designs will work and that they will result in a usable system.  There are reviews of the design, reviews of the physical architecture, reviews for standards compliance, etc all along the way.  Finally, the system itself has to be run through an acceptance test by the customer.  These checks can be a pain in the ass sometimes, and you have to try to maintain a certain humility during the process.

Anyway, all these checks and reviews are there for a reason.  These projects have the potential to cost the company millions of dollars if they don’t work right.  Being prudent about their spending, they don’t want these things to be implemented willy-nilly.

So why is it when it comes to education we get all this mushy feely crap about how we should “use our hearts” and not be so cold as to demand accountability?  Whenever I hear this sort of emotional tripe I immediately start looking under the bushes to see what they’re trying to hide, because it’s usually a smokescreen to divert attention from some sort of shenanigans. 

I’ve heard a lot of emotional horror stories about how people are teaching to the test or spending too much time on the test.  I’ve also heard how it’s putting too much pressure on the students.  I call bullshit on the lot of it.  If the students are actually learning the material, then they should pass the test without spending classroom time “teaching to the test.”  If teachers are spending time “teaching to the test,”  then it indicates that the students are not learning the material.  I also don’t buy the crap about the test being unfair to minorities.  These minorities have the same curriculum as the other students.  It’s up to them whether they want to learn it or not.  But spare me the racist crap.

Ultimately, education is a business and we spend billions per year on it.  If we truly want an education system that functions, then accountability is a must.  Fighting against accountability means that someone has something to hide and we should pay especially close attention to anyone who does so.

1 Comment

  1. Outlaw3 says:

    The closest they ever come to being checked, certified or verified is the state licensing.  And that is pretty softball.  The kids have to be out of control and the teacher utterly incompetent on the subject to fail.  Of course, the smart teacher prepares the students, explains the observation, and promises milk shakes, candy, popcorn with a movie (some of the bribes my kids have gotten) if the class is exceptionally good.

    They don’t want to be checked on and held to standards.  They haven’t been as a profession (I know arguable that white collar workers are unionized to such a high degree) almost forever, and it is nearly lifetime employment.  Why would they give this up without a fight?

    Remember, a good number went into teaching to stay in a school environment, get summers off, and hey- there hasn’t been much requirement to certify in the subjects you are teaching.  Plus the math courses are heavily de-emphasized, along with science and history.  You don’t want to damage the self esteem of the teachers or the students, after all.

    Teach the test!  I am horrified!  Here they teach the test as a year long course with the month prior devoting 2-3 hours per day to the test.  I have to laugh, the teaching must be horribly bad because the county here barely scrapes over 70% among 4 middle schools.  Isn’t that a D?

    The sad fact is the education system NEEDS the checking.

    Don’t get me started on the alleged certification by the national level North Central Association (think that is who it was) when they form teams to check private schools (K-6).  What a joke.