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Good Intentiions: Squeezing Instructional Blood ThroughTurnip Compliance

Posted By: Dick Schutz on November 16, 2007
The key paragraph is:
“Neither IDEA nor NCLB focuses much attention on enhancing pedagogy or instruction through its accountability mechanisms. All the data collected for the purposes of oversight or enforcement consist of system-level output indicators such as graduation rates or statewide assessment results. Beyond limited mechanisms associated with the provision of technical assistance to low-performing schools in NCLB and states determined to “need assistance” in IDEA, the emphasis of the laws’ enforcement and oversight provisions is on punishment rather than capacity building. As both analyses of IDEA and NCLB have indicated, there is little evidence that sanctioning an organization for failure to comply with a law because of a lack of expertise, funding, or circumstances beyond its control will achieve the goal of improving student outcomes.”

Underscore the last sentence.

Both laws take it for granted that the el-hi system has the capability to teach all kinds how to read and compute. That’s a baseless assumption. Even cursory inspection indicates that pevailing texts don’t operationally align with standards and prevailing tests don’t operationally align with the text-based instruction. The belief that all texts are based on scientific evidence of effectiveness is a legislative illusion. None are. The belief that thetests in use measure “proficiency” in terms of student performance is a deception. The criterion is nothing more than an arbitrary cut-off on an ungrounded statistical scale, that fluctuates from grade to grade.

Teachers and students, with few exceptions, have the human capability to meet the public’s aspiration for instructional accomplishments in reading and math. Home-schooling is demonstrating that even untrained parents can deliver these accomplishments. The ignorance and delusion that is impeding the reliable delivery of aspired instructional accomplishments is at the top rather than at the bottom of the EdChain.

Dick Schutz

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 Good Intentiions: Squeezing Instructional Blood ThroughTurnip Compliance by Dick Schutz on November 16, 2007
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