NCLB 50% Rule Needs a Fix

April 3, 2012 at 7:58 AM Leave a comment

NCLB broken? Not AYP – the children cannot wait until 2055 for a growth model to see results. It’s the presumption of guilt that misses the mark. Where’s the proof that 50% of the teachers are at fault?

 Schools need to turn around any of the following…

  • Large numbers of students not achieving proficiency in math and literacy
  • Subgroup achievement gaps
  • Low graduation rates
  • Poor attendance

There should be no argument that any of these indicators of failure require immediate intervention and persistent management until successfully resolved. Wildly successful schools for the privileged included. The fact that many children benefit from a school’s services does not discount the evidence of a corrupt system if it fails to include specific populations. The latter group cannot be marginalized and underserved. This is America.

That said, Americans also benefit from the presumption of innocence in the eyes of the law. Unfortunately, blame-gamers and union-busters had their way with the wording of the NCLB legislation. Teachers protected by seniority rules and union membership were presumed to be the guilty parties in the under-educating of our children. Accordingly, turnaround status for a school entitled its leadership to terminate up to 50% of the teachers. Pick 50%…any 50%…and the hands of the failed leader would be untied and success would ensue.

Teachers are very important, and every child deserves to benefit from the best instruction available. However, educators have failed to document what good teaching looks like, provide meaningful evaluations and feedback, or match motivation to the mission. It is wrong to target teachers at the whim of administrators who are postponing their own accountability. Objectivity and mutual goals must be cornerstones of education reform.

So, let’s fix this 50% rule and get on with the process of evaluating and motivating teachers with the managerial excellence we are capable of delivering.



Entry filed under: ESEA-NCLB, School Transformation, Teacher Effectiveness.

Every Child Has a Right to Stop Failing Communicating Priorities in Education

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