Thursday, February 26, 2009


We are in the middle of getting kids ready for state tests. And it's hard, because it feels like our kids start the race about fifty yards behind the starting line, with used sneakers, instead of fancy cleats. And we are having a visit from the CDE today. And that's hard, because they will tell us that our teachers are not good enough, because they cannot get the kids who start out fifty yards behind the starting line with their used sneakers caught up to kids who have new sneakers, and lessons, and special coaches, and good meals. 

Then I read this, (thanks Frankie!) and I decide I will try for one more day.


Mary Lee said...

The students at my school are also the ones in the sneakers starting way behind the line and competing with kids in new cleats. Luckily, Ohio put into place a growth model with our achievement tests last year. This model (simplified) makes a line graph for each kid that shows where they were in 3rd grade, how far we brought them in 4th grade, and projects ahead TWO years to see if, with the same amount of growth, they'll pass in 6th grade. Our kids make HUGE amounts of growth between 3rd and 4th grades. That's something the kids in the cleat schools can't do. (When you're already winning the race, how much faster can you actually go???)

Well, as it turns out, my school that has always been the bane of our district's existence because we can't get the kids to the line is now making the whole district look really good because they get to claim our amazing growth.

Who cares. The state has finally validated all that we do for our kids. And it has made all the difference in the world to our mental health!

debrasbaker said...

Thank so much for writing this. Knowing that my words helped inspire someone else, well, that means a whole lot to me.
Take care,

elaina said...

Thank you so much for posting this. We, too, are in the midst of state testing and it's easy for the reason we do what we do to get lost amid the number two sharpened pencils and the nail biting. I just shared the link to that amazing b log post with all the teachers I work with, and I can guarantee we killed at least a tree with our collective use of Kleenex this morning.