Education

Weingarten’s Plan Could Spice Up Accountability Debate

March 19, 2008 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

With NCLB reauthorization looking less likely each week, the debate over the future of the law’s key tenets has begun. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said she wants her new pilot project on “differentiated accountability” to offer Congress a model of how to rework interventions in schools. And don’t overlook the accountability proposal that Randi Weingarten, president of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers, released last week.

Weingarten’s plan would add new ingredients to the accountability mix. (One quick note: Her ideas are about accountability in general but could be applied to NCLB.) In addition to test scores, schools would be rated on their safety and discipline, as well as their “teamwork for student achievement.” Districts would be evaluated on the support they provide the school. The reports would rate schools against a standard—not on a curve—but also would compare schools against ones with similar demographics. Eduwonk says the plan “puts some good ideas on the table,” but “it seems to me to move accountability too far away from demonstrable outputs.”

When looking at the future of NCLB, Weingarten’s proposal is important as much for her political standing as for her ideas. Weingarten is expected to become president of the American Federation of Teachers this year. If a certain senator from New York, whom the AFT has endorsed, is in the Oval Office next year, Weingarten certainly would be one of the most important voices in the next version of NCLB. Even if one of the other candidates is president, Democrats in Congress are certain to look closely at Weingarten’s plan because it voices the complaints of teachers and educators.

“It is our hope that the UFT’s proposed framework initiates a vigorous debate over both the ends of accountability and the best means to achieve these ends,” Leo Casey writes on the UFT blog, edwize. In the current issue of Education Week, Weingarten’s proposal merited a brief mention. (Like other newspapers, we focused on the biggest news story in New York.) But I’m betting Weingarten’s ideas will get noticed and talked about eventually.

Other stories of note in the March 19, 2008, issue of Education Week:
Spellings, on Tour, Aims to Promote NCLB
Key Democrat’s Plan Would Boost Charter Schools (Note: Since this story went online, Rep. Rahm Emanuel has introduced legislation on this topic.)
Miller Joins Pessimists Club on NCLB Renewal
Poor Math Scores Posted on Unusual 3-State Exams
Virginia Lawmakers Enact Measure Taking Aim at NCLB (see my blog item on the bill)
New-Leaders Group Offers Initial Insights Into Effective Practice

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. f we

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Gunman in 2018 Parkland School Massacre Pleads Guilty
A jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz will be executed for one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.
3 min read
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)