Sunday, June 8, 2014

Accountability & finger pointing...

A phrase I've been hearing a lot lately in education is making sure we are 'being held accountable.' This phrase in itself is pretty innocent, however the context in which it's used can make a world of difference. In the same vein, it's becoming easier and easier for folks to point fingers with all the emphasis and focus on 'accountability.'

For example, if you are a student, the teacher has the responsibility of making sure you are learning what you are supposed to learn. The teacher is entrusted to hold each student accountable for doing their work and completing all assigned tasks as requested by the teacher.

If you are a teacher, you are being held accountable by your building level administration. Teachers are charged with ensuring each student learns the board approved curriculum, all professional paperwork is completed and turned in on time, and lastly, that they uphold the professional image of the school district.

For building administrators, you are being held accountable by the district level administration. Building administrators are asked to lead their respective buildings. They do this by making sure the teachers they are holding accountable are holding their students accountable.

The superintendent and other central office administrators are held accountable by the Board of Education. The BoE works closely with the superintendent to ensure the school district operates smoothly and efficiently. The BoE is able to do this by holding the superintendent and other central office administrators accountable for initiating and monitoring the implementation of the district vision and goals.

Lastly, the Board of Education is entrusted by the community to maintain a safe learning environment for the children and parents within the community. The BoE is held accountable by the community by a democratic process that takes place every April, when new BoE members are elected or re-elected.

With all of these levels of accountability, we have to ensure we don't lose sight of what our main purpose as educators is; preparing students to be autonomous and independent thinkers who know full well they will live in an unknown future that is constantly changing and evolving.

So, at the end of the day, let's all assume accountability and let's stop pointing fingers, and let's get to work because I think we all know there's a lot that needs to be done...