News from the NEPC: Report Fails to Muster Evidence To Support School Improvement Strategies that Remove Democratic Control

From: Frank Gue [mailto:frank.gue@cogeco.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 12:45 PM
To: William Mathis <wmathis@sover.net>; gsunderman@umd.edunepcnews@gmail.com
Cc: Gue Frank <frank.gue@cogeco.ca>
Subject: Re: News from the NEPC: Report Fails to Muster Evidence To Support School Improvement Strategies that Remove Democratic Control

 

Date:      13 June 17

By:          Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,

2252 Joyce St., Burlington, ON L7R 2B5, Canada    905 634 9538

For:         Mr. Wm Mathis and Ms Gail Sunderman, NEPC

Re:          Measuring education results

 

Good day, William and Gail

 

Here are a citizen’s thoughts about the following sentence from your post (below), which reads:

 

It also relies on test score outcomes as the sole measure of success, thus ignoring other impacts these strategies may have on students and their local communities or the local school systems where they occur.

This warning appears repeatedly and predictably in statements by education apologists, some of whom, they should candidly acknowledge, fervently wish not to be measured at all.  As stated emphatically and publicly by one local (Burlington, ON) Supt of Ed, We will not use comparisons.  

OK then, lady, you will not improve your system, since improvement depends on comparison, which depends on measurement.

 

The educational enterprise as a whole should take to heart the motto of the Fraser Institute of Vancouver, BC, Canada:

If it matters, measure it.  We should start by agreeing, as I trust we can, that Education matters a whole lot.

 

I am a Professional Electronics Engineer (no, not an electrician, as many mistakenly think).  One definition:  An Engineer is one who believes in measurement, knows how to measure, measures, and abides by the result of the measurement whether they agree with his opinion or not.

 

My own aphorism, which springs from that definition and addresses the NEP’s dismissive reference to test scores, is:  The admitted inability to measure everything is not a valid excuse for measuring nothing.  And so, my good fellow educators, dismiss test scores if you feel you must, but you must then propose alternative specific, auditable measurements.

 

What are they?

 

Cheers,

 

Frank Gue,

Professional Engineer

 

On Jun 13, 2017, at 10:05 AM, National Education Policy Center <NEPC.NEWS@gmail.com> wrote:

 

Recent report provides little guidance for states considering improvement strategies for low-performing schools.

Report Fails to Muster Evidence to Support School Improvement Strategies that Remove Democratic Control

Key Review Takeaway: Recent report provides little guidance for states considering improvement strategies for low-performing schools.

 

Press Release: http://nepc.info/node/8706
NEPC Review: http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-ESSA-accountability
Report Reviewedhttp://edex.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/publication/pdfs/03.30%20-%20Leveraging%20ESSA%20To%20Support%20Quality-School%20Growth_0.pdf

Contact:

William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Gail L. Sunderman: (301) 405-3572, gsunderm@umd.edu

Learn More:NEPC Resources on Elementary and Secondary Education Act

BOULDER, CO (June 13, 2017) – A recent report offers a how-to guide for reform advocates interested in removing communities’ democratic control over their schools. The report explains how these reformers can influence states to use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title I school improvement funds to support a specific set of reforms: charter schools, state-initiated turnarounds, and appointment of an individual with full authority over districts or schools.

Leveraging ESSA to Support Quality-School Growth was reviewed by Gail L. Sunderman of the University of Maryland.

While the report acknowledges that there is limited research evidence on the effectiveness of these reforms as school improvement strategies, it uses a few exceptional cases to explain how advocates seeking to influence the development of state ESSA plans can nevertheless push them forward.

As Sunderman’s review explains, the report omits research that would shed light on the models, and it fails to take into account the opportunity costs of pursuing one set of policies over another. It also relies on test score outcomes as the sole measure of success, thus ignoring other impacts these strategies may have on students and their local communities or the local school systems where they occur. Finally, and as noted above, support for the effectiveness of these approaches is simply too limited to present them as promising school improvement strategies.

For these reasons, concludes Sunderman, policymakers, educators and state education administrators should be wary of relying on this report to guide them as they develop their state improvement plans and consider potential strategies for assisting low-performing schools and districts.

Find the review by Gail L. Sunderman at:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-ESSA-accountability

Find Leveraging ESSA to Support Quality-School Growth, by Nelson Smith and Brandon Wright, published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Cities, at:
https://edex.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/publication/pdfs/03.30 – Leveraging ESSA To Support Quality-School Growth_0.pdf

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) Think Twice Think Tank Review Project (http://thinktankreview.org) provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: http://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu

Subscribe to NEPC Email Press Releases
Add us to your address book • Update profile • Unsubscribe

Copyright © 2017 National Education Policy Center. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s