Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Accountability standards for corporations

Read this Bloomberg article about accountability standards for corporations.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said he is considering recommending changes to the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance law because its restrictions have overwhelmed some American companies.

While the ``net result'' of stricter reporting standards for executives has been positive, Sarbanes-Oxley has also contributed to ``an atmosphere that has made it more burdensome for companies to operate,'' Paulson said in an interview today from Washington.

``We're going to need to look at how we can address some of these issues,'' Paulson said. ``This is something we're giving a lot of thought to.''

The remarkable thing is, you could substitute NCLB for Sarbanes Oxley, and American companies for American public schools, and arrive at the same dialog. Except, in the case of Sarbanes Oxley, our federal government is siding with corporations, and with NCLB, they think they got that right and it is the parents and teachers who've expressed concerns who are wrong.


Anonymous GoldsteinGoneWild said...

Good analogy, NCLB and S-O. And I like your blog.

The thing is, while you cite the reaction to overreach by S-O, few dispute that there was a real issue -- Enron accounting.

And just as you focus appropriately on NCLB scorekeeping problems, MA Ed Reform in 1993 and NCLB are both response to a "real issue" -- many MA districts which long cooked the academic books, hiding the dreadful skill levels of many kids, quietly dumping them out with meaningless diplomas, utterly unable to compete.

November 21, 2006  
Blogger MassParent said...

Thanks for dropping by.

I think some centralized testing is fine, but also think it's getting a bit out of control. For auditing purposes, we could use an approach like the NAEP test - the state doesn't have to test every kid comprehensively in every grade in every subject. Basicly, I think we've gotten most of the easy leverage we can out of central testing, but it is a growth industry looking for the next horizon. So I suggest the next horizon should be completing the central evaluations faster - within one month for open response, or one week for multiple choice tests.

Then shift focus to using data and best practices locally and interactively. Test to find out what kids know, a little bit at a time as they learn it. Report back to parents, teachers, and principals within days of those locally administered quizes. Use that data to tell you what kids need tutoring and in exactly what subjects.

And keep that data private & local, except to allow local administrators to cross reference the results against MCAS results.

November 21, 2006  

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