Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In case the GOP missed it --

Posted by Craig Westover | 11:32 AM |  

From a the latest GOP release --
Hatch Flip-Flops on State Education Performance Reports

Hatch Attacked The Minnesota Department Of Education Over The Release Date Of Its 2006 Performance Results. “The Minnesota Department of Education won't publish schools' 2006 performance results, based in part on test scores, until Nov. 15. Usually, the department releases the information, known as the adequate yearly progress report, around State Fair time. … Attorney General Mike Hatch's office stated the department's plan to publish the data late ‘defeats the entire purpose of the law,’ which mandates public sharing of the data.” (Rachel E. Stassen-Berger, “How Good Is That School? You'll Find Out In November,” Pioneer Press, August 16, 2006)

But Hatch Did Not Speak Out Against The Release Date Of The Results When The Legislature Dealt With The Issue Earlier In The Year. “Education Commissioner Alice Seagren said Tuesday there was no misfire. The attorney general's office simply doesn't understand the education law. ‘He was way off base on this,’ Seagren said of Hatch's complaint. She said the progress reports' delay was well known by those in education circles. There were hearings at the state Legislature about it this year, and all but one legislator voted to approve the delayed release date for this year's data. ‘There were plenty of opportunities for the Office of the Attorney General to learn about this issue or weigh in on this issue if they had a position. You did not, nor did any representatives from your office,’ Seagren wrote in a second letter Tuesday to Hatch's office.” (Rachel E. Stassen-Berger, “How Good Is That School? You'll Find Out In November,” Pioneer Press, August 16, 2006)
In case the GOP missed it --
It’s about the kids, not the system. "We're all for public education accountability and applaud the education department's efforts to create comprehensive high standards. But the real customers of the education system are parents and kids. Players in the education system need to be reminded that, first and foremost, they are accountable to parents, not one another.

"Squabbling over blame for the delayed results, insinuating hidden agendas or whining over who in the system is most inconvenienced only camouflages the real problem — parents aren't getting information they need to make timely decisions. A parent concerned about a child's education shouldn't be frustrated like someone returning a defective blender without a sales receipt." (Editorial, “Delay of data on schools is frustrating,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 21, 2006.)