Accountability

Accountability

Accountability
Accountability

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

This year it happened on the second day of school.

I was told there was a young man waiting in the office to see me.  My secretary gave me the heads up—he was 18, had moved in with someone in the district, and wanted to come to our school.
 
His glasses were broken and he needed a shave, and it didn’t help that he had a hard time looking me in the eye because of his nervousness.  The story was one I have heard every school year in one form or another.  Jeff (not his real name) had left home and landed in our backyard because of a girl he had met on a visit to the area.  Living with her family, he wanted to come back to school and try to graduate.

Why Send My Son to Public School?

Earlier this week, Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced the latest hopeful sign for DC’s public schools –  a spike in citywide student reading and math scores. "We're thrilled at the progress we've made this year," said Rhee. "We still have an incredibly long way to go."

I’m grateful for the early improvements in the DC schools – and I share Chancellor Rhee’s caution. We all know standardized test scores offer just one window into the health of a school system. Any business school student also knows it’s foolish to judge an organization’s overall health based on a single measure of success. And yet the United States is the only nation with an accountability system based solely on standardized test scores.

Accountability

Sunday we celebrated the American ritual known as graduation at my high school. On leave this year, I was able to relax and sit amongst the faculty while our students were each presented with a diploma. From this new vantage point I noticed little things I missed when I was "running the show"—like each graduate taking a brief moment to wipe their sweaty palms before coming to the stage. It also gave me a chance to watch the faces of those that had made this moment possible; the pride of parents, grandparents, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and community members that filled our hot and sticky gym.

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