Monday, January 29, 2007

A System in Need of Improvement

Cheating The Ithaca Journal has this article today on Freeville Elementary School's unfortunate "in need of improvement" rating, despite the fact that the kids in Freeville are too young to take the state tests that would earn them such a rating. Paul is convinced that there are enough checks in the system that it's the district's fault, and a close reading would tend to support that. However, it reveals more about the downside of NCLB, I think--schools spend so much time preparing and checking reports (Paul deals with data warehousing monthly), and the reports still don't reflect what's really going on at the schools. And the state holds regular meetings at OCM to teach administrators about preparing and checking reports, which means that those administrators are driving back and forth to Syracuse instead of overseeing what's going on at the schools. And the teachers prepare students for the tests instead of teaching, and the students take sample tests instead of learning, and so it goes down the line. Your tax dollars at work.


Mary Ann said...

What a shame. This is bound to be fuel for the argument to close the Freeville school. When my kids went to school there, it was a good school. And I have every reason to believe it still is.

I know it may be a losing battle, but I'd still argue to keep the Freeville school open. You can't imagine how far it is from here to Dryden for a five or six year old.

KAZ said...

We just spent $1 million patching up each of those small schools, with the end result that no one will dare to bring up the notion of closing them for at least another decade. This despite Dryden's continuing decline in school-age population.