Readers sound off on value-added model, district efficiency

“While it’s quite true that Ms. [Diane] Ravich is right that we’ve no data on long-range economic impact, it’s equally true that Harvard (and many other high-pressure post-secondaries) keep precisely those data, in order to hit alumni for contributions,” wrote oekosjoe. “Why has no one done anything at all like this in public primary and secondary education? It used to be very hard, since people move so much. But with Facebook, and many other social networking resources, it is finally quite easy to track alumni for a while, and some alumni for a very long time indeed. The purpose of public education is to create a community—as Horace Mann framed it in the very, very beginning. Yet, unless we use what we can to assess the value schools contribute to that effort, they will forever be defensive and, particularly city schools, ought to be scared to death until, or unless, they begin to think in more constructive ROI terms.”

“School is a business. Billions of dollars go into … materials, supplies, and contracts. Education is big business,” said msrobins. “I sat on a state data team that looked at scatter plots for data reporting that were used in this report. The government wants better results for dollars spent.”

See what readers had to say on other hot topics:

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Readers: ‘Bad’ teachers aren’t the problem

msrobins gave these suggestions:

“At the state level I have witnessed multiple nights in swank hotels, upgraded rooms, food bills, and more—in the name of a meeting. Yet the technology exists to meet via Skype. If the government wants to trim down and run a business, cut the fat out. The fat rises to the top.

“The entitlement is at the top. I have witnessed the ‘I deserve it; I’ve been in education for 25 years’ mentality. I deserve a swanky hotel room because I put in my time, I deserve to make 50 cents a mile, though I have a company car, because I deserve to ride in style; I deserve to make $200,000 a year, when the starting salary of a teacher with a B.S. or B.A. is $23,000. Most of all, I deserve a pay raise when teachers’ pay is frozen, because I’m doing the real thinking.

“Quit blaming teachers for student failure, and start asking why parents of low-performing, often low-income students, aren’t held accountable for their student’s grades. Why aren’t the students?”

eSchool News Staff

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