Thursday, February 23, 2006

Reverse Accountability

When I entered college, I was surrounded by the top students from most high schools across our state and nation. Yet, many of them didn't make it to graduation. There were a variety of reasons. Some dropped out for financial reasons, some couldn't handle the academic demands and switched to "easier" colleges, and a few decided to get married. So, if a college student does poorly or drops out whose fault is it? A new Texas a proposal would make the high school accountable for its graduates college performance.
The state already tracks student performance from pre-kindergarten through college. The next step would mean students who need remediation in college could hurt their high school's ranking under the state's accountability system.
According to a DeEtta Culbertson, a Texas Education Agency spokewoman "
It's part of the overall package to improve education and increase college-readiness standards,"
Texas is at the forefront in education reform. The U.S. Department of Education is looking at higher education and accountability standards across the nation. They are holding up Texas as the model for their reforms. They are trying to get the most out of their "investments" in education. I wrote about this in my post The New 'C' in NCLB. This will result in exit exams not just after high school but after college as well.

The reforms continue to look more and more like another step in the government's attempt to impose increasing control over higher education. TexasNextStep is working to make K-14 the norm, with the state footing the bill. The next step would be to make atleast two years of college compulsory. Said Texas Comptroller Strayhorn,
[I] would rather spend $2,500 a year educating a young Texan, than $16,000 a year incarcerating that young Texan!
We are steadily moving toward a K-16 education tracking system in this country.

They have already messed up K-12 so why does anyone think that their involvement at the college level will yield any better results? Why are we trusting them to fix a crisis they, in fact, created? I just don't get it.

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