A reader sent in a comment about holding teachers accountable for test scores.
He attended a “question and answer” luncheon hosted by the Lafayette, Louisiana, Chamber of Commerce, where Governor Bobby Jindal was the speaker. Jindal came late, spoke fast, and left without answering any questions.
The reader, possibly the only educator in the audience, turned to the CEO of a hospital sitting next to him and asked “if he ever pondered posting his hospital’s mortality rate outside its door.” The reader was “a little surprised at how firmly his ‘no’ response was—-it was as if I asked him to jump off of a bridge. I was merely trying to make a comparison to cohort grad rates and letter grading systems in our state to the business community.” The reader concluded that “accountability as educators know it will never be applied to any other type of profession much less within the business community despite their unwavering support of accountability for public schools. That CEO’s firm ‘no’ response was all the proof I needed that accountability the way we know it will not make anything better….and the business world knows this.”
Another reader liked that comment and added: “had the CEO offered more than his terse response, I suspect his explanation would include that although doctors play a role in a patient’s health, there are a number of other factors that doctors have no control over–patient’s genetics, prior medical history, willingness to follow the doctor’s prescriptions, environment, how far an illness has progressed before the doctor sees the patient, etc. And, of course, his explanation is perfectly valid. For some reason, though, when teachers make the same point regarding students’ test scores, corporate ed reformers are quick to accuse them of making excuses.“
Why do doctors refuse to post their results on their front door? When you visit a cardiac surgeon, ask him or her how many of their patients survived their surgery?
When you go to the dentist, ask how many of their patients continued to get cavities?
Why do they make excuses and tell us that if patients don’t follow orders, don’t blame them? Or if patients arrive with pre-existing conditions, don’t blame them?