October 8, 2009

First, find me a box of cereal that squirms and drips snot in winter

Congratulations to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who knows a critical rule of politics: declare victory whenever you can, no matter whether you were right. I am quite serious about his political acumen: his push of a system that assigned letter grades to schools was ingenious politics. And Bush deserves credit for supporting a research technical assistance center in Florida as well as funding for reading coaches. But Jeb Bush's comments to the Jeb Bush Celebration Conference this week had an interesting quip:

Frankly, if Walmart can track a box of cereal from the manufacturer to the check-out line, schools should be able to track the academic growth of a student from the time they step in the classroom until they graduate.

I am firmly in favor of using longitudinal data, but this comment is cheerleading and not serious discussion. There are significant challenges in the creation, maintenance, and use of longitudinal data systems, and Walmart-style tracking logistics don't touch the greater ones.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on October 8, 2009 10:07 PM |