Unscramble the pieces of education

Published 12:08 am Friday, May 31, 2013

Want to know how our public school children are performing in the classroom?

You’ll have to pass a test yourself first. And it’s a bit of a math problem, crossed with a rousing round of the word puzzle, Jumble.

Accountability standards in place in nearly every state in our nation, that supposedly help us all track educational progress, are a language of their own.

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For example, in Louisiana, the BESE is working to increase rigor so ELA classes are more in line with Common Core Standards and the percentage of students scoring basic or above on the iLEAP increases.

The Louisiana educators out there probably understood that sentence. The rest of you likely did not.

Cross the river into Mississippi, and you’ll get a new language altogether.

So when it’s time for the annual release of state test scores — which occurred last week in Louisiana — the public, too often, turns its collective head in confusion.

Perhaps it’s what the schools want. Perhaps it’s just a communication problem.

Either way, it gets us nowhere.

We’ve all heard the adage, “it takes a village to raise a child.” And for more than a decade, now public schools have been begging for parental involvement.

But the village and the parents are so confused by today’s accountability standards that they too often are backing away from the situation feeling uneducated.

Accountability is important, and so are the test scores that come back once a year.

But state educational leaders must find a way to unscramble the puzzle for the public if we hope to put the pieces of our future back together as a village would.