Month: January 2016

Accountability? A Scandal for Schools

In what has been called the age of managerialism and accountability, schools seem to be measured for everything: not just GCSE grades, but levels of progress, Progress 8, EBacc results, value-added, attendance, exclusions, all within a wide range of ‘context’ measures. So it seems odd that what secondary schools aren’t measured on is the most fundamental academic skill: reading. A few months ago, we began asking via Twitter how secondary schools assessed progress in reading. Despite wide circulation through many kind retweets, our survey unfortunately gained very few responses. Of the twenty schools who did respond, it was clear that there was no consistency in the tools used, in the timing of such checks, or their regularity. This is exactly what you would expect when people are being measured for virtually everything but reading. The lack of any governmental requirement for secondary schools to assess reading progress (both comprehension and decoding) has significant consequences. First, it seems to imply an expectation that students arrive at secondary school already able to read – despite an abundance of evidence from …