Remember the telephone game from when you were a kid? Someone whispers a sentence into the first kid’s ear and it gets repeated through a group of students with the final student stating out loud what he heard. Remember how the final sentence was never the same as the first?
So it’s not just about test scores but I’m aware that it’s how I may sound at times.
I’m thinking a lot about our focus on the common core standards and improving academic success PK-12. We’ve focused on school improvement with our many changes last year and we will continue to focus on what our students are learning again this year. And we rocked it in MANY GRADE LEVELS! It’s important that we remember that paying attention to what we teach our students in Math at each grade level is MOST about making sure that all kids have access to the same content and high expectations as they move to each subsequent grade—so that by the time they’re in 7th grade, we don’t have a 7th grade Math teacher finding so many students who can’t do fractions or who can’t multiply in their heads. Why is that important? Because if they can’t manage the basic skills quickly and easily, they struggle to tackle more complex mathematics. Then they’re at a disadvantage and that’s the last thing we want. It’s also about making sure our students are prepared as well as or better than students in neighboring school districts and across NYS with whom they will be competing for college entrance or jobs. I want our Randolph students to come out on top in college and career readiness.
So as we continue to focus on school improvement, know that it isn’t just about test scores. It’s about our curriculum and how we make sure we’re all teaching what’s expected at our grade level with high expectations for all students, so that every child can maximize her success in the subsequent year because last year’s teacher made sure she learned all she needed to succeed. We’ve prepared our kids so well in a zillion other ways for many, many years—which we will continue to do—and now we’re maximizing learning in those common core areas as well.
Keeping our eye on that continuum of aligned curriculum and self reflecting about what each of us can do better.