Crazy Crawfish here writes a brilliant post about The Great Accountability Scam.

He is writing about Louisiana and the Recovery School District, but what he describes applies with equal force to every “reform” scheme in every state and even to Race to the Top.

What he explains is the destructive and failed theory of action that is the very heart of the corporate reform movement.

It goes like this: use test scores to fire teachers, fire principals, close schools, and shatter communities. Create a swath of destruction that falls hardest on poor children, their families and communities. Cover your tracks by declaring success where none exists.

His prime example in this case is Louisiana’s Recovery School District. It has been recognized in the media as a national model, but it is a failed experiment that has benefited its promoters, not students.

RSD is a prime exemplar of the Great Accountability Scam.

Here are his concluding thoughts (but open and read it all):

“What if all these resources we spent taking over school districts, firing teachers, and displacing children were used instead to improve the schools in which they already reside – dozens of these schools now lay shuttered and vacant statewide while the children are bussed to campuses clear across their communities. This is done to disguise how poorly we’ve served these children while we hope taking their temperature over and over and telling them to “get better” will finally work. What if instead of just testing children and holding them “accountable” we held ourselves accountable as a society and worked to improve their plight? All this testing and test prep is not helping our students catch up, and it may actually be bringing everyone else down as well. In Louisiana to disguise this fact John White has changed the “grading scale” and intends to change it yet again next year and every year we continue to employ him. John White will guarantee the scores go up, for what they’re worth, but our students will eventually tire of teachers just taking their temperatures when they show up for school, and who could blame them?

“Kill the RSD, and hand the schools back over to their communities where they belong. The RSD experiment we’ve forced on our children has failed, and miserably so. Instead of spending all that excess funding on bringing in out of state charters and temporary teachers, train the teachers we have, provide funding for universal pre-kindergarten, afterschool programs, restore music and the arts and provide tutors and recruit mentors from the community for children. There are thousands of people just waiting to help, if the state will back off and return to a support role instead of the tyrant it has become under Paul Pastorek and John White. Teachers are trying, but they can’t tackle this task alone.

“I suppose it comes down to whether you want a solution or simply someone to blame. Bobby Jindal just wants a talking point for his futile presidential aspirations; John White wants to help out-of-state vendors, so they can hook him up for a lifetime of perks and positions once he leaves Louisiana. If you are a citizen of this state, if you care about the students, the children, the teachers, your fellow citizens, our way of life and our future, then you need to kick these guys out and take back our schools. Kill the RSD and rescue our teachers and students before it’s too late.

“It’s about time we held our failing leaders responsible. RSD has been in place for almost 7 years and has mostly all new students, and every year it is vying for worst district in the state with two to three times the resources. In my book that deserves an F- and the creators of it should be held accountable.