The last step to input this data into the new API index would be easy. Teachers would make a digital copy of the grades on a CD or a thumb drive or attached to an e-mail sent to an administrative site where the information was fed into a database.
If the law says we cannot reveal student names, then we use student ID numbers, which are kept confidential at the school site.
The district has information on ethnicity, age and sex for every student so that information is merged using the student ID numbers.
The result would be an index that reveals which students are working and those that aren’t. Teachers would only be responsible to teach, correct student assignments and record grades, while students and their parents would be responsible to see that the work and reading is completed.
To make sure that students are learning, there would still be the standardized test to measure growth but with students actually involved instead of watching TV, playing video games or sending the average 1500 text messages a month, there would be reading outside of class, doing homework and studying instead.
This puts the responsibility where it belongs—on students and parents. If a teacher is not doing a good job teaching, students are going to complain and administration is going to observe.
Every few weeks, I printed out a progress report for each of my students that told them everything I’ve mentioned in this series of posts and I required those students to take those reports home and have their parents sign them.
However, if our society is unwilling to hold students and parents responsible to cooperate in their education and we keep placing “ALL” the blame on teachers, America has failed and nothing will solve this problem.
On May 20, 2011, in Solving the API Dilemma – Part 6, we shall see a comparison between the actual API scores in California and my friend’s suggestion of how to show results on standardized tests without being racist when showing who is responsible for the results.
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