Friday, May 31, 2013

Test Scores: The Good and The Bad

The growth was amazing--so many points, but the score remained in the red.

There was a dramatic drop?  Was it a bad day?  What happened?  I wasn't there.

His growth was amazing, the best in the whole school--what made that happen?

As we look at end of year dipsticks and scores, there's a tendency to forget about all the efforts that go into a year beyond a few test scores--all the efforts including class community, projects, interdisciplinary learning, new ideas, and more.  School is not just a test score or color coded mark on a page.

Yet, some would like to reduce it to that--to point to the red mark on the page and summarize a year of care and effort with one mark--it's easier to do that than to take the long look at the multiple efforts that go into a worthy education.

Education is not a perfect science. It's true that data can help us to target teaching efforts, but data alone can't be the reason why we teach the way we do, education is more holistic than that.

Hence at the end of the year when summative scores roll in, remember that that those scores are only one small piece of the teaching year, evidence of one out of a multitude of efforts employed, all efforts aimed at teaching children well.