The news across the state of Idaho in 2017 was often disappointing.
District leadership lied about teacher evaluations. (Source)
Nearly $100 million dollars were spent to achieve Idaho’s 60% go-on rate goal, but the mark was missed. (Source)
Idaho’s graduation rate fell below the national average. (Source)
Kindergarten reading scores are the lowest they’ve been in over a decade. (Source)
Idaho high schoolers are not receiving their state-mandated counseling on career options. (Source)
Statewide literacy initiative goals were not met. (Source)
Meanwhile, many Idahoans have been vocal about making education a top priority in Idaho and wanting Idaho’s children to receive a quality education.
So who’s responsible?
The truth is, accountability isn’t a blame game. It’s about schools, teachers, administrators, parents, and students coming together and recognizing they are all responsible for results. The key will be to identify the unique roles they each play and how they can move towards solutions that will provide meaningful learning for all children.
Maybe it comes down to the adage, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth measuring.”
Case in point. When statewide data reveals that high-level goals are not being met, Idaho leadership can either point fingers or step forward to address the reasons. From here they can accept the performance data as it exists, and help create a culture of collaboration towards a more effective plan. Here, accountability opens up opportunities for improvement.
In the classroom, it’s becoming more clear that teacher evaluations should be accurate and honest reflections of what is producing evidence of student learning.
In the home, accountability might be as simple as parents and students igniting conversations about learning and sharing the progress towards their own learning goals. This could demonstrate that learning truly is about working together to achieve results.
When educating Idaho’s children becomes a statewide priority for all parties, the state will benefit greatly.
American Progress: Making The Grade