May 4, 2013
Impact of Accountability
Fort Wayne Community Schools believes that the quality of the principal will impact academic growth, teacher satisfaction, teacher effort, parent perceptions of the school, and many other stakeholder concerns. The accountability movement has forced FWCS to consider the effectiveness of the principal. An effective principal typically has effective teachers and consistent academic success in their building. An ineffective principal usually has ineffective teachers and little academic success. With the RISE evaluation process in place, principals are able to be more present in the classrooms and spend quality time helping teachers become more effective. The principal is not only looking for the instructional impact but also looking for strong interpersonal skills. If the principal lacks instructional knowledge and/or interpersonal skills the teacher accountability will be less than acceptable for FWCS. Benefits
The No Child Left Behind act forced school districts to restructure failing schools. During the restructuring process, of some of the schools, the teaching staff and the principals were changed entirely. With the complete change of leadership and teaching staff the schools are showing much needed growth. With NCLB it forced FWCS to increase effort and attention towards the English Language Learners. FWCS has decreased the learning gap between majority students and ELLs students. NCLB has given the needed push to address the achievement gap among all minority groups. With NCLB in place parents are more informed and given the opportunity to participate more in their child’s education. Parents are provided a yearly report indicating academic strengths and weaknesses.
No Child Left Behind Act has not taken into consideration the special education population. Annual Yearly Progress in based on state achievement testing, this puts extreme pressure upon special education students and special education teachers. With the added pressure special education students and teachers morale has declined. NCLB act mandates that teachers are highly qualified. Although this is an excellent idea, it poses a problem for principals during the hiring process. Principals are having a difficult time finding special education teachers who have credentials in multiple content areas. One of the biggest challenges that FWCS has had since NCLB act was imposed is the lack of funding. Without adequate funding it is difficult and sometimes impossible to implement the needed programs, maintain facilities, or provide adequate materials. Many teachers in FWCS believe that NCLB encourages learning based on the reward of passing a test rather than the actual goal of learning. With the emphasis that NCLB has had on reading and math it is evident that many students have missed the opportunity to learn foreign languages, history, and other related arts areas. Impacts of Benefits and Challenges
The impact of the school restructuring for failing schools in FWCS has been an increase in student achievement within those schools. With highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals in those buildings the quality of education has improved. With the replacement of ineffective principals the district has seen more consistency in appropriate accountably for both the teachers and the principal. The educational achievement gap among all minority groups has decreased with general education students as well as special education students. The inability to find highly qualified special education teachers in district has caused a shortage of teachers. The students have been placed in integrated classrooms in order to receive instruction from a highly qualified general education teacher. Some special education students are falling through the cracks more often. Without direct services provided to a small population of special education students the district is seeing student achievement decline, an increase in expulsions, and an increase in special education student drop out rates.