School accountability…is that an oxymoron? I’m inclined to think so when I consider the wrangle between TEA and Texas school district superintendents. Pearson appears to have purchased up everything related to education and seems to run a virtual monopoly. While this is good business practice for Pearson, is it really in Texas education’s benefit that Pearson seems to hold all the cards for evaluating students and schools? Who is holding TEA accountable? How much gold is flowing from TEA coffers to Pearson?

There seems a real effort in schools to “outsource” solutions to commercial companies. Have we so little faith in what administrators and teachers can do? Consider the following….

The Texas Education Agency was looking to reinvent part of its school accountability system, so it summoned about 20 high-ranking school district officials to Austin to ask their advice in early September.

Now, after the TEA rejected the panel’s unanimous recommendation [Sanders Model], leaders of some of the state’s largest school systems — including Houston, Fort Bend and Cypress-Fairbanks — have signed off on a letter of protest to Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott… Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa was among those who sent the critical letter to TEA.

“Ours is much more compatible with Sanders’,” Hinojosa said in an interview. The superintendents from Corpus Christi, Northside and San Antonio ISD also signed onto the letter.

Cloudt said some district officials might not realize TEA revised the simple Pearson model that initially was presented.
Source: Area Districts Blast TEA for School Evaluation System, Houston Chronicle

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