Thompson: What Should Have Happened According To Hess And Me
Rick Hess responds to my “sharp-penned" blog post and then offers an outstanding account of why George Miller and other reformers were frustrated by the foot dragging of the educational establishment of the early 1990s. “They particularly fretted that Title I wasn't doing much for low-income kids,” wrote Hess. Then, in 2001, “policymakers basically roared in annoyance, turned to would-be reformers who offered actionable suggestions.” The predictable result was that NCLB, at the cost of billions, made a bad situation worse.
Here's how I would alter Hess' account, "If educators had stepped up in 1994 with ideas for smarter outcome input metrics, ... I'm willing to wager that the story of the next two decades would have been hugely different better." It wouldn’t have been as romantic, but a Title I for America could have done real good. Had non-educators brought their talents with metrics to the mundane task of rationalizing school administration, they could had created aligned systems for smart investments of federal money. Instead of focusing on the core issue of what educators actually do, they adopted the risky bank shot of evaluating schools using primitive test scores as a proxy for reality. Ironically, my analysis draws heavily from the work of a sharp-penned conservative, Rick Hess.-JT(@drjohnthompson)Image via.