I came across this comical, yet thought-provoking article in the D.C. Washington Post Metro newspaper this morning:
It seems an elementary school principal in Hyattsville, Maryland, has taken to extreme measures to motivate students to perform on standardized tests.
Two years ago, Lewisdale Elementary was placed on the state’s “school improvement” list, meaning that it had failed to meet standards of “adequate yearly progress.” AYP, as it is referred to in education circles, is a construct established under the 2001 congressional No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act that requires each state to set standards for public school accountability, along with timelines for meeting those standards.
When Lewisdale made the grade to improve off the “school improvement” list last year, Principal Glee-Woodard and testing coordinator James Green celebrated by allowing students to submerge them in a dunk tank, carnival-style.
This year, the two adventurous administrators raised the stakes. They encouraged teachers and students to don military fatigues in their
quest to “win the war against the MSA [Maryland School Assessments].” And when the student body did achieve AYP, Glee-Woodard and Green spent an entire day this fall working from the school’s rooftop.
What do you think of these administrators’ approach to school improvement?