Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Get Ready for the Numbers Game, Guidance Counselors

NYTimes:

“We want accountability reforms that factor in student growth, progress in closing achievement gaps, proficiency towards college and career-ready standards, high school graduation and college enrollment rates,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in announcing the proposed changes. “We know that’s a lot to track, but if we want to be smarter about accountability, more fair to students and teachers and more effective in the classroom, we need to look at all of these factors.” (emphasis added)

So basically, in the future, every time a parent or student gets advice from a guidance counselor, he or she will have to try to calculate whether or not this advice is for the benefit of the student or to help juke the school's stats.

This will be good news for shady colleges, which will then drive a whole new cycle of post-secondary data-driven accountability numbers, etc...

4 comments:

Claus von Zastrow said...

Never thought of that problem. On the plus side, college enrollment, persistence and performance data are far more stable than AYP is. And, as a recent Education Sector report demonstrated, many high schools that are doing well by their student--as far as college enrollment and persistence data go--are falling short of AYP and getting penalized.

One of my biggest fears is that schools serving low-income children would be penalized for financial barriers to college.

Tom Hoffman said...

Yes, generally it is a better number, but if you raise the stakes, you corrupt the measure. You'd think that'd have sunk in by now.

Tom Hoffman said...

(not with you, Claus...)

dazzlingbetty said...

As well - looking at college enrollment rates reveals far less than college completion rates. I appreciate you surfacing this, Tom - it's been a crazy week for me and I am not caught up. If there's more about whether the data is persistence/completion rather than admission/enrollment, that seems encouraging--or not, as how can high school be held accountable for what colleges need to do? I concur with Claus's thoughts about needing better/more varied indicators.