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.