The latest Marc Tucker publication from the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) is titled “Fixing Our National Accountability System.” I have so many issues with the title alone that it didn’t take long to decide that my responses would obviously require more than one blog.
First the words “Our National.” National means affecting the nation as a whole.
That IS the problem with our current U.S. education accountability law – No Child Left Behind (NCLB). That law put in place a test-based system that affected the whole nation in a negative way – no doubt about it.
Did it then go further and become a “federal” accountability mechanism? “Federal” means a union of states in which members agree to designate a central authority. Did NCLB do that? You bet it did! Our congressmen and women acted – and gave authority to the U.S. Department of Education to execute their law. NCLB is the federal education law of the land controlling the use of high-stakes standardized tests for “accountability” purposes.
And what about the word “accountability.” Mr. Tucker chose to use this definition; “Accountability: The obligation to bear the consequences for failure to perform.”
According to Mr. Tucker, “both Democrats and Republicans were angry with the nations teachers.” That’s how we got NCLB? That was America’s plan?
Teachers were always the target? I don’t think so; there is a much bigger target in “the plan” – but back to defining what Tucker is now talking about (or skirting around).
“Bear the consequences for failure”? To that I’d say, “you first Congress.” Congress should have corrected NCLB in 2007. Congress failed to perform. And it isn’t like there was a shortage of good suggestions that they were urged to act upon – since 2005.
And Mr. Tucker and his entourage have been pulling the strings for years by urging America to make a choice and threatening that it is tough choices or tough times. Consequences? There never will be consequences for all the big thinkers, planners, and propagandists. No responsibility; no consequences; no accountability.
As far as blogging about “Fixing” this mess created by Congress and the real movers and shakers in D.C., well, it will have to keep for another day. The steam coming out of my ears is fogging up my glasses.