‘A’ is for awful

Self-evaluations by Michigan schools are meaningless, reports the Detroit News. Self-esteem has run amok.

One Detroit elementary, for example, gave itself a perfect score for its facilities despite being closed in October because it started sinking into the ground.

. . . Eighty-three percent of Michigan elementary and middle schools that failed federal achievement standards for at least four years — including schools in Detroit, Pontiac, Taylor and Utica — gave themselves A’s on self-evaluations worth a third of their overall grades, according to a Detroit News analysis of state report card data released earlier this month. The percentage is up from the previous year, when 70 percent of failing schools gave themselves the highest possible marks.

Administrators are giving themselves points for having programs to solve their school’s problems — even if the programs aren’t working. Two elementary schools that earned an F in English and a D in math gave themselves an A, which raised the schools’ average grade to a C. Both have been listed as failing schools for six years.

Eduwonk thinks external accountability might be a good idea.

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Comments

  1. Everytime another corporation takes a fall, I wonder how they slipped through the cracks of our evaluation. How did we overlook they were poisoning us and robbing us blind. Why would we expect another system to fix it?

    There aren’t easy solutions. Maybe local accountability would balance the broad international standards of the NCES. Even locally there needs to be 360 evaluation. The evaluation of parents and children should be as public as other measures. I wonder what the effect is of sites like ratemyteacher or ratemyprofessor are?

  2. Everytime another corporation takes a fall, I wonder how they slipped through the cracks of our evaluation.

    If you want to wonder about something, wonder about a “business” in which the the receipt of services is mandatory, payment is also mandatory even for those who have to accept on faith that there are any direct benefits, the idea of measuring the quality of servce is explicitly rejected as is any responsiblity for failure.

    There aren’t easy solutions.

    Sure there are. Or “is”. The only impediments are apathy, inertia, self-interest and fear.

  3. Andy Freeman says:

    > Everytime another corporation takes a fall, I wonder how they slipped through the cracks of our evaluation.

    Huh? Corporate failure isn’t “[slipping] through the cracks of our evaluation”. It’s “they failed so they’re done”, which is one of the possible results of a good evaluation system.

    No, past performance isn’t a guarantee of future performance, but it’s better than assuming that inverse.

  4. Eric Holcombe says:

    At least their self-esteem is high and isn’t that what public education is all about?

  5. IF you don’t think anyone is going to check our work, why would you not give yourself good grades if it helps your funding?

    If your answer is that it would be unethical, then how does any student get beyond the fourth grade not being able to read?