Friday, April 29, 2016

HS Accountability - Red Shirt Your Freshmen

Accountability is a game. Play the game right and your students, your staff and your campus wins.  Play the game wrong and everyone suffers.

Recognizing this, I am baffled why high school leaders continuously place the burden of accountability on the shoulders of their most fragile students. Especially when the only reason to do so is the inability to be flexible in one’s thinking. Here’s what I mean.  In Texas, the high school accountability tests are:

Algebra 1, traditionally a freshman course.
English 1, traditionally a freshman course.
English 2, traditionally a sophomore course.
Biology, traditionally a freshman course.
U.S. History, now a junior level course.

Which means that the campus accountability rating is driven by:

Freshmen – 3 Tests
Sophomores – 1 Test
Juniors – 1 Test

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Instead do this.

Leave History where it is.

Move Algebra 1 to the 10th grade year. Have your freshman take Pre-Algebra (a local credit course). 

Move Biology to the 10th grade year. Have your freshmen take IPC or Anatomy & Physiology.

Move English 1 to the 10th grade year. Have your freshman take English 3.  Yes, you read that right. There are no prerequisites for any English course.

Move English 2 to the 11th grade year.

By doing the above the campus accountability rating will be driven by:

Freshmen – 0 Tests
Sophomores – 3 Test
Juniors – 2 Tests

I like those odds. Play to win

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