Friday, September 26, 2008

Science scores are back - we're #1

So the scores are back in for the NCLB science testing - we're in the top three in the state for one grade and #1 in another.

So what? Just as low scores are meaningless in the long run, so are these high scores. The students are the difference, not the teaching. Last year, these same teachers were "below average" because the students didn't do well and probably next year we'll be back down in the pack again. Does this mean that their skills as teachers have somehow improved for this cohort and then will have diminished next year? Pretty silly if you think about it that way, isn't it?

When are the bean counters going to figure out that the manufacturing model isn't an appropriate analogy for education. You have a group of students here. You can't reject any with flaws as you can with raw materials for the assembly line. You can attempt to standardize the process but without consistency in the construction material, you get variations in the final product. Those variations can neither be eliminated nor minimized.

You can improve the process but it'll only be incremental. The students are the key and they are not consistent. Sometimes you get lucky and the kids get it and sometimes you don't get lucky and the state puts you on the checklist.


I celebrate because they're my friends, not because they're superior to the rest of the state. When the 11th grade scores come back, let's hope the coins comes up heads again.

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