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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It is time to hold Jeb Bush accountable

From the Washington Post's Answer Sheet, by Valerie Strauss

Jeb Bush is holding his fifth annual national summit on school reform next month in Washington D.C. According to the agenda, one of the
Bush and like-minded school reformers — including President Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan — have been very clear in saying that indeed, education schools should be held accountable. In fact, Duncan’s Education Department wants regulations that would rate colleges of education in part on how K-12 students being taught by their graduates perform on standardized tests. In addition, financial aid to students in these programs would not be based entirely on need but, rather, would also be linked to test scores.strategy sessions is called “Transforming Colleges of Education,” and the writeup says in part: “Nine out of every ten teachers graduate from traditional teacher prep programs at colleges of education. Should these colleges be held accountable for the caliber of students they admit into their programs and the teachers they send into the classroom?”
 So if they want to hold teacher training programs accountable, why not do the same thing for the Broad Academy‘s  program that trains and places top administrators in urban school districts across the country?
And what about the George W. Bush Institute’s principal training program? The website says about the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership: “The program is designed for the express purpose of producing and placing school principals who dramatically improve student learning and sustain that improvement. While graduates of school leadership programs may also serve in other leadership capacities at the campus and district level, the focus of the AREL project is on preparing and empowering principals.”
Why shouldn’t the superintendents, administrators and principals placed by these programs be held accountable in the same way — by student test scores?
Of course no adult should be assessed based on the standardized test scores of students, but if colleges of education are going to be targeted, why should the Broad and Bush training programs be exempt?

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