Once again, Prof. Gary Houchens, a Bluegrass Institute Scholar and Kentucky Board of Education member as well as a professor at Western Kentucky University, has posted a great blog about the goals and limitations of education accountability.
I highly recommend reading Dr. Houchens’ blog.
By the way, at the risk of oversimplification, an education accountability program is somewhat like the speedometer in your car. Without question, a speedometer provides valuable information for the safe operation of the car, but your speedometer won’t make your car go faster or slower. It is only a performance instrument.
Still, it is dangerous to ignore a speedometer and consequences for doing so can be very high.
Thus, the idea that we would want to rip an accountability program out of the education machine is just about as dangerous as the idea of ripping out the speedometer in our vehicles. The key is that we want a speedometer with accurate calibration and easy to read indications. I think our education speedometer needs more work in the accuracy and readability area, but the notion that we could get along without such a performance gauge is not good for our kids.