Education

Meaningful district achievement results look fine

Today’s Watertown Public Opinion headline, “District achievement results mixed” doesn’t tell the full story.  Strictly speaking, the headline is true.  But a subtitle like, “Meaningful results look good” would have provided readers with a more accurate picture of the state of our schools.

Every so often our state updates education standards. When this happens, there’s a transition period between the old and the new. What that essentially means for people like me, charged with holding school administrators accountable, is the material we teach and the material we test, aren’t exactly in alignment. Test score always go down when this happens.  That makes sense, doesn’t it?  You teach a child “x” but you don’t exactly test “x.”  Frankly, if I’m a child, I think that’s maddening, particularly if I’m working hard to do well.  But that’s what happens when states update.

Does it mean our schools are doing a bad job? Not at all. It’s simply a reflection of the transition.

The majority of our data that’s meaningful shows we’re doing fine.

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