With all of the talk and press regarding school test scores let’s first talk about motivation. As it is presently done, motivation (in my opinion which I respect) does not exist, it can’t.
You see, of the stakeholders (teachers, administrators and even the students) motivation can only exist if the process is easily understood, unable to be manipulated and obtainable. The present method meets none of these criteria. Therefore, I have a plan that will indeed work. Now the state people who want to control a system that keeps hundreds of unnecessary bureaucrats employed while making public education look bad and completely moralize all involved will not care much for my plan.
Here is a correct plan, which will motivate and excite all stakeholders with it positive simplicity, while taking into account all of the demographic factors. Compare each school to “its own score from the prior year.” If a school stays within 5 points (up or down) of its prior year’s score that school will receive a letter grade of C. Go up 6010 points and a B will be given, go lower than 6-10 and the school gets a D. Going up more than 10 points rewards that school with an A, lower than 10 points an F.
Easy and obtainable. Throw out all of the other crap like the lowest 25 percent race, poverty level, etc. Simplify, look for every school to increase every year. I’m willing to bet that with a simple understandable system we will see very few low grades, after all if each school, competes only with itself everyone should be able to move forward which in the end helps everyone.
Michael G. Brennan