Education’s Magic Wand
Nobody likes to fail, and when it comes to failures in our education system, the education bureaucracy thinks that no one should be held accountable. So in order to deal with failing school districts, the Missouri School Boards Association would like to pretend it isn’t happening. According to the Kansas City Star:
The Missouri School Boards Association on Monday announced that many districts and organizations are pitching an idea that unaccredited districts would be willing to enter into a performance agreement with the state school board. While the districts are under that agreement, the state would classify them as provisionally accredited, freeing the districts and their neighboring districts from the transfer law.
As my colleague James Shuls has noted, this idea is just a shell game. What’s more, it ignores the fact that schools are already in a performance agreement and they have failed to perform. That’s the whole point of accreditation. Missouri Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Dist. 60) equates this proposal to a magic wand and issued a statement reading in part:
This plan doesn’t require any evidence of actual improvement, and it makes a joke of the accreditation process. It changes the school accreditation process from one which requires accountability to one which perpetuates failure without consequence. It’s geared toward protecting existing power structures rather than ensuring substantive changes to improve the lives of Missouri families with students trapped in struggling schools.
Change is difficult, but after decades of failure from the St. Louis and Kansas City school districts, who can seriously argue that they deserve one more chance? It is more likely that school boards are more interested in protecting their own interests than meeting the needs of Missouri families. Barnes ends his piece with this:
In recent years, the State Board has shown it has the political courage to make difficult decisions regarding struggling districts, and it’s my hope that the Board will continue that tradition.
The Show-Me Institute shares that hope.