The National Journal is debating education grades for the first two years of the Obama Administration. There are the predictable and ridiculous, ‘let everyone do what they want’ comments–we did that for 40 years and created the outrageous gaps that currently exist. Here’s my take:
The Department gets high marks for a record amount of reform in two years. RttT was successful in moving two thirds of the states toward high standards, choice, and data-driven teacher effectiveness.
The Core and related assessments will frame the next decade the way NCLB did the last. We’re six years over due for an ESEA reauthorization and it’s already clear that when it happens, the feds will back off and states will go back to weak and inconsistent accountability.
With Harkin, the coordinated assalt on private enterprise in higher ed moved the administration further from the president’s completion goals.
Scoring of RttT and i3 was embarrassing (e.g., OH & HI over CO & LA) but easy to see how it would be all over the board if some of the National Journal bloggers were included. If renewed, both need language and scoring updates.
For edReformer readers, it’s also worth noting that Karen Cator has the EdTech plan heading in the right direction, but the Department still seems to favor (or significantly overweight) traditional solutions.