Texas was the birthplace of No Child Left Behind— we have been at this (high-stakes testing and accountability) for nearly 20 years. President Bush and DOEd Secretary Paige lassoed NCLB directly from Texas. Thus, the shenanigans associated with the high-stakes system are perfected in the Lonestar State (Indiana, you’ve got nothing on us). Thus, you won’t believe the amazing education news coming out of Texas (nor should you). The Texas Education Agency recently released the results from their new accountability ratings system.
The vast majority of the state’s public schools met the standards set by new state accountability ratings debuted by the Texas Education Agency on Thursday.
Under the new system, districts and campuses are placed in two categories, “met standard” or “needs improvement.” They are judged on how well they do across four areas: student achievement; student progress; closing performance gaps between low-achieving demographics; and post-secondary readiness.
The state agency announced Thursday that almost 93 percent of Texas school districts and charters achieved the first designation. When broken down by campuses, about 91 percent did.
So basically, overnight, the vast majority of Texas schools are AWESOME. Why would this happen?
What do we already know about any accountability system?: “Oh, crap”: Accountability is Arbitrary and Political
Rep. Mike Villarreal, who sits on the TX House Ed Committee, Tweeted in response:
So what could possibly be behind Texas’ magical and new opinion of its public schools?
Perhaps this: Live School Finance Discussion on KXAN NBC
How can you win a school finance case on inadequacy grounds if the state is suddenly saying that the vast majority (91%) of public schools are awesome overnight?
So which is it? Are our public schools terrible or are they great?
I believe we can safely now extend Ohanian’s statement to read “standardized tests AND accountability”
For context, Texas has been fudging the data in their accountability system for decades. See for example, Accountability Texas-style: The progress and learning of urban minority students in a high-stakes testing context.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
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