Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Reader Writes... Reasonable Accountability - Part 3

In response to the January 14, 2016 post, “Reasonable Accountability – A Primer for the Texas Legislator,” a reader writes:


First, let me also state that I too am a public school advocate and proponent for accountability. With the proposed accountability revisions, I offer the following for consideration:

Use the ACT as the exit level assessment for high school graduation.

SC Response
Actually, this is not a bad idea, in theory.  In practice it has a rather significant flaw. But a flaw that can be easily corrected.

First the flaw.  The ACT is not aligned to the mandated state curriculum (TEKS).  Because of this, if a campus were to teach only the TEKS (which should be done), ACT questions not addressed in the TEKS would be difficult to answer.  Meaning that a student who met state curriculum standards could miss meeting state testing requirements.  Also, though I won’t walk through the reasons why in this post, such a system would put low SES students at a significant disadvantage to high SES students.

Now the fixes.

Fix number one would be to align the TEKS to the ACT.  This wouldn’t be hard to do.  In fact there is a great blueprint for doing this. It’s called.... the Common Core.  So I guess fix number one isn’t going to happen.

Fix number two is more workable.  Allow two accountability pathways. 

Pathway One – Pass the required STAAR/EOC tests.


Pathway Two – Earn a predetermined ACT (or SAT) score.

If the student does either one, for graduation and school accountability purposes, the standard has been met.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

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