Faced With Accountability- Teachers Cheat

July/18/2011 16:05PM
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No surprise. The chosen few who never have to account for performance grow comfortable not performing. Rate busters on the union assembly lines are quickly brought into compliance. Slow it down, don’t make us look bad. Government workers if they ever had to perform to any standard would fold like a cheap suit.

The very curve that educators’ perfected over time exists in any group of people. Jack Welch of GE broke it into four categories. He graded his people on those curves. First, the top performers who met all the goals and did it the right way. Next, the ones who met all the goals but left problems behind. Morale problems, customer problems, budget problems, etc. Then, the ones who didn’t meet goals, but did it the right way. With groups two and three, more training and help was provided.

Finally, the fourth group, the one’s who did neither meet goals or do things the right way. This group was sent packing to become teachers, government employees, politicians, or union employees. He said this group was 15-20% every year, year in and year out. Just as 15% of any class on the curve flunked the test.

If a high performing corporation like GE under Welch has to weed out 15% a year, what would that curve look like in education? It looks like it must be a very high percentage if you look at teachers’ response to accountability. They don’t perform better, they just cheat. They have been trying to block the accountability tests for years. Now that they have hit, they don’t seem to want to teach harder and help students improve their test scores. They just rig the scores. They seem to be very creative in their methods to rig results.

So far it’s been uncovered in a small number of school systems where the accountability was put into effect. But, trust me, this is just the beginning. In business I dealt with people who just can’t get the job done but can find creative ways to try to hide the results or excuse away incompetence. The teaching cadre in the US is rife with incompetence and indolence. One can’t be fixed, one can, but it’s hard to go back to work after skating for years. Want proof, just look at the US student test scores vs other countries.

Want your kids educated, better think hard about what Governor Walker did in Wisconsin. Until the teacher’s union is broken, this is what you get. In Wisconsin, the teacher of the year was let go when jobs were cut since she didn’t have seniority. Her job was kept by someone who probably falls into Jack Welch’s bottom 15%.

If tests are hard, 85% right might score an A on the curve. An easy test might take 95%. A class with untaught or unmotivated students might score a A with 70%.

Since the US rates so low in the world on average standardized test score comparisons, the people responsible to the students and parents to make these scores higher must be fraught with under performers. Once accountability is put in place, those facts will be obvious. No wonder the union and the teachers don’t want this. Also, no wonder when faced with getting fired when the facts are clear that a teacher is not teaching, that teacher opts to cheat. No wonder when a whole school system, like Atlanta, is going to fail, the whole system cheats.

Once accountability is put in place hundreds of superintendents, principals, and teachers will be out of work.

Tough deal, but the alternative is to keep under educating our kids and grand kids.

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