Educators: What defines success for your school?

Welcome to what may be the shortest blog post ever.  Those who read my posts know that I’m not the type of guy who thinks he knows everything.  At times, I just pose questions to see what type of thinking is out there or to get people to reflect.  Holiday break seemed like a pretty good time to do that.

About 5 months from now, we will be looking back on the 2017-2018 school year.  When looking back in June, how will you know it has been a successful year.  Let me go a step further and ask you to quantify it.  I’ll just pose my questions and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • How will you define whether or not your school has had a successful year?
  • How many measures will you use?
  • Do staff members agree to all of those factors?
  • How many of the measures are external and how many are internal?
  • How do you report out the level(s) of success that you have attained?

I have a strong belief that we too often allow external groups to evaluate and grade us as schools.  A standardized assessment turned into a color, grade, or number, certainly shouldn’t be the determining factor as that would undersell the valuable work done in schools on a daily basis.  Furthermore, what does someone in Lansing know about the strengths, challenges, and growth areas of the school I work at?  How do they know what our staff is focused on?  School improvement work is valuable and helps to focus our work, but certainly isn’t specific enough to what a school is working towards.  So, what is it?  What factors?  What formula?  What is success and how do you measure it?

I wonder how fellow educators would answer those questions.

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