A MEANINGFUL AND FAIR ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM
In order to reveal the quality of the education within schools, we must use multiple measures to assess our schools and school districts, and we must prohibit the state from using the scores to justify eliminating a community’s voting rights by seizing and chartering schools and districts deemed failing.
OUR CURRENT ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM IS FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED
Instead of multiple measures, our state relies primarily if not solely on standardized test scores when calculating school and district performance scores. And yet, standardized tests have a long history of being racially and culturally discriminatory, and student scores generally correspond with parents' education background and family income level.
Even the district performance scores in Louisiana reveal a clear correlation between the concentration of poverty in individual districts and the scores assigned to each district. School districts with a high percentage of students living in poverty typically garner low district performance scores while districts with a low percentage of students living in poverty garner high district performance scores. The correlation strongly suggests the standardized test scores reveal less about the quality of the education being offered than they do about the demographics of a school or district.
PERFORMANCE SCORES SHOULD NEVER BE USED TO DENY A COMMUNITY ITS VOTING RIGHTS
Recently, Superintendent John White even acknowledged our current tests are not effective measures of student achievement, blaming a drop in NAEP scores on “computer illiteracy.” And yet, the scores from these tests are still being used to deny teachers tenure and to justify converting traditional public schools to charter schools, effectively denying citizens the ability to elect meaningful representation to the boards governing their schools.
We must assess our schools using multiple measures. And any assessment should be used only to identify schools in need of additional support. School and district performance scores should never be used to justify the privatization of our public schools or the elimination of a community’s voting rights.