It is a disturbingly easy list to make: police officers shooting/killing defenseless black males and females, Rush Limbaugh, OJ Simpson, Karl Rove, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Rhee, Bill Gates, ad infinitum.
Those shielded by privilege (wealth, race, celebrity, status) from the consequences of being held accountable for their actions.
And what is most disturbing is that among accountability hawks, those are the people least likely to be held accountable.
In the accountability era of education reform, the accountability hawks have been left unscathed even as they work to create school choice (public funds sent to private schools outside the accountability paradigm), more charter schools (relieved of accountability), and uncertified teachers (Teach For America).
Those accountability hawks, the politicians and the billionaire education hobbyists, are never held accountable as each policy and reform-of-the-day fails before s/he moves on to the next Great Reform.
Complicit in this failure to hold accountability hawks accountable have been spineless edujournalism and edupresses that have abdicated their role to press release journalism in the service of the edureformers.
And thus, as
Just this week, in Education Week — the field’s leading national newspaper covering K–12 education — a blogger by the name of Matthew Lynch published a piece explaining his “Five Indisputable [emphasis added] Reasons Why You Should Be Implementing Value-Added Assessment.”
I’m going to try to stay aboveboard with my critique of this piece, as best I can, as by the title alone you all can infer there are certainly pieces (mainly five) to be seriously criticized about the author’s indisputable take on value-added (and by default value-added models (VAMs)). I examine each of these assertions below, but I will say overall and before we begin, that pretty much everything that is included in this piece is hardly palatable, and tolerable considering that Education Week published it, and by publishing it they quasi-endorsed it, even if in an independent blog post that they likely at minimum reviewed, then made public.
Shame on Lynch, shame on EdWeek, but this is hardly anything out of the ordinary.
This is edujournalism as we have known it for decades now.
All hail the accountability hawks, and let neither evidence nor accountability deter their march!