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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Accountable Accountability (Foxes and Chickens)

Accountable Accountability (Foxes and Chickens)

I am a performance analyst who develops and reports metrics that assess each Georgia school's academic, operational, and governance performance.

I am an agent of accountability, much like a big brother - but not like “Big Brother”.

From 2004-2010, I served as a founding faculty member, governing board representative, administrator, and consultant at a public charter school.

Our school was an equal mix of problems and promise.

The problems were caused by poor adult relationships, and inexperienced, unconscious governance.

The promise was the opportunity to produce creative, problem-solving scholars who had visions to create mission-driven enterprises that served the interests of humanity.

Our school’s problems overtook its promise, and it was closed. That hurt, but I have an unwavering respect for the principle that if enterprises do not perform well, then they should cease operations.

I walked away from the experience with a sobering awareness of the problems, and an even greater faith in the promise of charter schools. Charters provide opportunities to innovate, improve, and inspire that must be protected by the presence of accountable accountability.

Accountable accountability requires that all stakeholders answer to each other. Anything less will go the way of the fox guarding the chickens.

See, when the foxes are given the authority to hold the chickens accountable, it usually does not go well for the chickens.

If foxes police the chickens, then foxes must be policed as well. Ousting the fox and replacing him with a coyote mistakes activity for achievement. The chickens would clearly benefit from a more robust option.


Derrick Brown

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