AMAO - Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives
The short and simple of Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO), is that it's a federal program under the No child Left Behind act (NCLB) designed to hold teachers accountable for student success.
The problem with this act is that the creators are not in touch with education. Points that are left out or to vague, are students with special needs, English language learners, specials (electives), and standardized testing that is not multiculturally sensitive.
The goals we set for students with special needs is defined by an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) not necessarily standardized testing. So the team is left with a difficult decision, do you set the bar just out of reach so you always have something to shoot for, set it low so you know you will reach the goal, or set it at what you think is possible and risk not meeting it.
A similar situation arises for students identified as English language learners. By law accommodations must be made for every language because in the U.S.A we do not have a national language. Teachers do undergo training to enhance their instruction to these students but unfortunately effectiveness is minimal until students reach a high level of fluency reached only through immersion.
Specials, like physical education, music, art, are hard to measure through AMAO and a reliable form of measurement is still not available. This results is program cutting and lower funding for these programs. Finally the standardized tests that each state requires. These tests are often not culturally sensitive. Topics that some populations of students have no background knowledge or experience with, and outdated information make student success very difficult.
Overall AMAO is a wonderful idea to measure and regulate education, but the kinks are not worked out and the program designed to help, is hurting instead without any improvements.
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