Comment Rescue from WAPO.

From this article:


Albert S. Twirr

1/24/2014 1:56 PM EST

I want to add an important piece to the conversation around the data-driven approach to public education that our country has embraced.

To put it simply, the data-driven culture has further entrenched the commonplace bureaucratic scenario in which individuals with sociopathic tendencies (which often are accompanied by a charming personality, a penchant for deception and the desire for prestige) gravitate to and are elevated to the upper echelons of our educational systems.

The measurement and manipulation of numbers has created an organizational culture in both districts and individual schools in which the appearance of success replaces the goal of actual success. To be an administrator in the current era’s public schools is to survive and move up by using the following tactic: “problem-hiding.”

The result of the urge to hide problems in order to advance administrators’ status and careers has been the creation of organizational cultures in which administrators engage in retaliatory behaviors against the very educators who themselves are reformers. That is, against educators who conscientiously (and often diplomatically) point to problems related to discipline, school climate, safety and the poor instruction informed by quantitative data.

What is needed in all schools is a strong organizational structure in which educators participate in reform. Currently, they are often condemned to silence due to intimidation.

To quote from Robert V. Carlson’s seminal work “Reframing Reform”:

schools can become narrowly engaged in and distracted by micropolitics. Micropolitics are not necessarily a bad thing except when they infringe upon the rights of others and resort to forms of subterfuge and intimidation. In organizations built on principles of democracy, rights and responsibilities are more clearly articulated and public. Politics are forced to operate with a moral or ethical framework, which acts as a cross-check against individual political maneuverings