News & Updates Articles

news & updates articles « home

Testing and Accountability: Is it a Viable Partnership?

January 18th, 2012 · No Comments

Angela Dye’s response to “NEA Stance on Teach for America Continues to Raise Questions”
By Anthony Cody
Published:  January 5, 2012


Sorry Anthony, I had to read this post a couple of times to understand your position.  Your cynicism was so thick that you confused me!  (smile)

With this being said, I just want to add a small nugget to the conversation.  As David Orphal (one of your followers) implied … accountability is fine.  As a matter of fact, it is needed!  Good teachers do not have a problem with standing behind their work.  We simply reject the notion that “achievement” is only achievement when it can be captured on a standardized- bubble sheet.

My area of expertise is in meeting the needs of urban, at-risk learners.  For many of my students, it is difficult for their annual progress to register on the district’s standardized test in that a good percentage of them are more than three grade levels behind.   While I tracked an average annual growth rate of 1.2- 1.5 years, my 8th graders who entered our program performing at the 4th grade level still struggled to reach grade level proficiency.  It is unfortunate that their growth is overshadowed by this test, which discredits their academic gains.

It is for this reason that I have created a scorecard that compiles “quantifiable” data of students’ performance and creates a profile for the learner, the teacher, and even the school.  Through this system, we can track and celebrate the progress for all students even those who struggle with academic and behavioral deficiencies.

As you can see, I am all for poking holes in the “testing climate” that has been spearheaded by No Child Left Behind but I also know that we must have a viable alternative.  Public education needs to be held accountable to the public and the one way this is done is by having a system of measuring and reporting.  I agree that we should hold teachers and schools accountable; however let’s just make sure that we have a measuring device that makes room for a broader range of what it means to teach, to learn and to achieve!

I enjoyed the discussion.  I hope you and others will log into Facebook to continue the dialogue!

Tags: Commentaries/Responses ·