Imagine you're a parent, your child is doing well according to her report card, but you get the sense that she's not challenged. The sense that she's at a school where they've lowered the bar (read more) so the school appears more effective than it really is.
With the bar set so low, you are terrified that she won't be prepared for the bright future you want to provide for her.
How do you make sure she is ready?
California has 6,000,000 kids in public school. Los Angeles has 200,000. To assure that these kids receive the education they deserve, their parents and the public must have access to insight into both the student's performance and the performance of the school overall.
Otherwise, how do you know if the students are on pace to have the basic skills needed to live a fulfilling life?
We believe that measuring student performance in math and English language arts proficiency is a flawed system. The future requires so much more than math facts and reading fluency. However, student performance on testing provides baseline insight into two important learning outcomes:
- A student's conceptual understanding of concepts basic to life success.
- Their resiliency and ability to manage performance stress.
A school is certainly more than its academic performance, but if academic performance is absent the school needs help. A system that "offers special help to ones with sagging academics only if they also suspend a high number of students or graduate too few of them" is not a system that is protecting and uplifting every child.
A school is not a compromise. Each and every part must perform exceptionally from academics to culture, to suspension policies, and on. We must assure that every school is robustly measured and continuously improved.