Texas Education

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Should we be surprised?

Posted by Texas Education on July 14, 2008

TEA turmoil boosts push for watchdog office

I’m a bit torn on this one. On one hand, looks like…it’s about time! On the other hand, do we need to spend tax dollars on something else, especially when the state keeps adding unfunded mandates, new programs, which always cost more money to create and implement. The Dallas Morning News tells us:

As problems mount in a watchdog office at the Texas Education Agency, some lawmakers are calling for an independent office to investigate fraud and waste in all major state agencies.

But, least we forget about, in recent news, also from the Dallas Morning News:

Who can trust TEA school rankings?

When a hitter launches a long drive, deep to left, it might be, it could be, it is – a home run! – but only if the ball gets over the fence.

If it doesn’t, if it falls just inches short and dies silently in the left fielder’s glove, it’s an out.

We do not expect the umpires to gather and discuss among themselves whether the batter’s team has fewer good players than the left fielder’s team, which team pays more in overall salary or who needs the run or the out more.

It’s a home run, or it isn’t.

But that same logic isn’t applied when it comes to the all-important state accountability rankings for public schools, the ones that determine whether districts and individual campuses are “exemplary,” “recognized,” “academically acceptable” or, sadly, “academically unacceptable.”

In the accountability ballpark, just being close can be good enough.

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