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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

School Report Card

The school report card was distributed today via email. It's a report card created by the State. As I looked over the data, I realized once again the value placed upon a school's standardized data. This report card clearly compares our school with others in the district and state.

If you read my posts, you know I'm a fan of a holistic education for every child yet, I also want to see our school do well with regard to standardized tests too. What can I do to support our school's report card?

Thoughtful, Targeted Program
It's important that the teaching/learning program targets the knowledge, concept, and skill that students are tested on. We need to teach the information that will help students succeed on these tests. There are multiple resources that provide us with exercises to use for this aim.

Data and Analysis
It's important to assess students often with tests that are similar to the standardized tests so students have familiarity and teachers can see where students succeed in this regard and where they still need support.

Test Preparation
We have to make the time to teach students about how to succeed with the test genre by giving them time to study and utilize practice tests and materials.

Coach the Teaching/Learning Team
We have to work with colleagues to coach the broader learning team including family members, students, and colleagues so that everyone is supporting students' best work.

Enrichment
Giving students a chance to exceed the expectations of standardized tests helps a school to achieve well on these tests. Hence it's important to promote enrichment efforts where possible.

Home Study
While there are debates about homework, students who studied math regularly particularly with platforms that mirror the tests such as Khan Academy did better on the math tests last year. Regular home study is important.

Like any task, the key is to identify the goals, strategize, practice, and analyze/assess. This is true for competitions in sports, academics, arts, and other areas where people compete.

Again, we can't be all about tests, but we'd be remiss if we didn't recognize the value that many place on these standardized indicators. Hence, as in years before, I'll try to teach in a holistic, meaningful way that also supports good work on standardized tests. If you have some tips for me, please share. Onward.