Adult responsibility, accountability and student achievement….

“Only 1 percent of teachers statewide were rated ineffective during the 2012-2013 school year — while a mere 31 percent of their students passed state tests. In their first year of evaluations, 1,291 of 125,956 state teachers were deemed ineffective, according to data the state Education Department released Thursday…”-NY Post 8/29/14

You wonder what on earth would give anyone the crazy idea that any adult should be held accountable for student academic achievement, after all, students come to school: Poor, Black, Latino, Asian, White, tall, thin, with flat feet, without flat feet, male, female, etc……

The awesome and stunning numbers here, invite some comparisons:
What would be the number of city buses totaled in accidents, as compared to the number of bus drivers deemed ineffective.
How many patients would need to die in a hospital due to ineffective treatment, before someone stepped in and put a halt to these destructive practices?

It gets better, with High Risk Organizations like: air traffic controllers, nuclear power plant workers, air craft carriers, an infectious disease lab, etc. These organizations have a very low tolerance for incompetence and failure; and a very high standard for the best, safest and most likely to produce success practices. Why, because with HRO’s incompetence, “human error” or failure can cause one, or many deaths. But what about the profession of education? I think an important standard for a profession, any profession, is that you establish professional standards and then you (the professionals) hold each other accountable for those standards. There should be the equivalent of a Star Trek like “Prime Directive” that says: We will remove all obstacles and excuses in moving every child to achieve their personal best! If not we should meet every parent at the Kindergarten or 1st grade door and have them sign (before their child can enter the classroom) a waiver stating: “We can only promise your child academic success ONLY, if they arrive with the following advantages”:
Not poor
A permanent home (house) in a “nice”, safe and inspiring neighborhood.
An intellectually stimulating home environment.
Mastered the learning standards of kindergarten, before they enter kindergarten.
English-speaking, well (college) educated, very good income parents (2 parents)
A rich informal educational experience (ex. Dance, instrumental music lessons, museum visits, books in the house, educational toys, etc.)

With that signed understanding in hand, no school system would ever be accused of not doing its job. They would have also achieved the distinction of never being accused of being professionals.