You’d think this would be a pretty basic thing to do.
Texas Sen. Florence Shapiro was stunned a few years ago when state auditors answered her request with a white surrender flag: They could not tell her which programs designed to help struggling, low-income students worked and which didn’t.
Billions of dollars flow into programs designed to boost poor students and to keep them in school. But there are too many variables to measure their impact.
The Plano Republican, chair of the Senate Education Committee, plans to team up with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, on legislation that gives more personalized attention to middle school students.
One of her favorite lines: “Students drop out in the sixth grade and walk out in the ninth grade.”
The focus will be on reading, writing and math, plus absenteeism and behavior for struggling sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. She’s still working out the details to draft the bill.
I know that measuring performance is a challenging thing to do, but you’d think that with all the emphasis we’ve put on standardized testing we’d have some idea what sorts of things tend to help students with their test scores, if nothing else. It’s not like we’ve just started with this stuff. Surely other states must have some ideas we can crib. Let’s get with the program already.