It’s the classic “chicken or egg” argument. Which comes first, results or resources?
Policy makers sometimes come down on the side of simply demanding results. They reason that by simply designating the end results and holding people accountable more people will work harder, and thereby positive results will follow.
On the other end of the spectrum, we educators respond that we need the resources to effectively carry out these more stringent accountability standards. Higher standards and more testing alone are like trying to fatten cows by simply weighing them more often. Without needed resources (feed, water, proper pasture, etc.), weighing them more will not produce the desired results.
Like most other complex processes, educating people is not as simple as many try to make it. Correct answers don’t lie in succinct sound bites that may garner votes, but instead in well thought-out solutions that hold people accountable for results, but also provide the resources needed to obtain results.
We educators must accept the fact that accountability is not a passing fad. With modern technology and a better understanding of value added, we will always be held accountable for results. Let’s embrace that.
A new role for educational leaders is to educate the public about the correlation between resources and results. Through action research, we must show the public that when the proper resources are provided and rightly utilized, the results will be learning for all children.