01 October 2015

Students And Teachers Are More Than A Score

As the leaves turn beautiful hues associated with fall and students around Kentucky take some time to rest and relax with their families, test scores in our state are being released to the public.  Each year around this time I write yet another blog post about my hopes and fears or about stopping test prep approaches to teaching, or I write something encouraging everyone to change the conversation. As long as we continue emphasizing the almighty test score, there will be public demand for news related to scores and rankings.

Since the Kentucky scores were released at midnight, I awoke to my Twitter and Facebook feeds full of commentary from colleagues, friends, and news reporters. Of interest to me was this tweet by education reporter Toni Konz.

I appreciated her taking the time to reply to my suggestion that we share bright spots and stories from schools about more than test scores.

Her reply saying she likes to write those stories when she's allowed has me thinking that we have work to do as a community. If we keep demanding the ranking and we keep making decisions about where we buy our homes or send our children to school based on test scores, we are doing nothing to change the conversation, and we perpetuate the cycle of rankings based on standardized test scores.

Thankfully, I also had educator friends post today on Facebook with statements such as "let's remember the full picture" or "this is my least favorite day of the year...let's remember students and teachers are more than a test score..." I couldn't agree more and wished for a million likes on these posts.

We can do better. We can provide students more authentic learning opportunities like those we see in the film Most Likely to Succeed. We can do this. We must do this. Our children depend upon us!