Quote of the Day: Hold Schools Accountable for Contexts and Content

 Thanks goes to Everyone At the Table for tweeting out a link to this important policy report from Helen Ladd. This is brave and pertinent perspective for policymakers on education.

[I]ndividual schools . . . should be held accountable, but only for things that are under their control. Specifically, they should be held accountable for the internal policies and practices that help to produce a far broader set of educational outcomes than student achievement alone as measured by test scores. Schools might be held accountable, for example, for providing a safe and supportive school environment and a climate that promotes respect among children and teachers; for tracking the individual developmental needs of all the children they serve and for implementing strategies to address those needs; and for delivering the curriculum in a coherent manner that engages students as partners in the learning process and appropriately pushes them all to the limits of their abilities. [Bold added]

–Helen F. Ladd, Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence 

Ladd provides a number of great points in her paper worth diving deeper into, but for the moment I wanted to highlight the saliency of her policy recommendations to our model of schools as ecosystems. The urge to hold our schools accountable not simply for student value-added, but more critically for providing safe and positive environments and for delivering coherent curriculum, is a point I have made here before, and will continue to make in the future.

One thought on “Quote of the Day: Hold Schools Accountable for Contexts and Content

  1. Yes, but. I admire Helen Ladd's work, but as I said in a letter the Times published after Ladd's op-ed last year calling for schools to become providers of anti-poverty services, we need to look beyond the schoolhouse. We need to think of education in public health terms, and while I LOVE this blog's focus on the school as ecosystem, I hope we are also very, very attentive to the larger ecosystem of which the schoolhouse is just a part–and far from the most important part even when it comes to educational achievement (out-of-school factors are far more important than in school factors).


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