State accountability scores cannot measure what our schools mean to our community

Published 2:48 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Last week, parents, teachers, administrators and students celebrated Bovina Elementary School’s “A” rating in the recent state accountability scores. The celebration happened on the same day as the school’s observance and activities surrounding Farm to School Day, so the goat and chickens visiting the school was just a coincidence, but a nice touch.

September’s release of the 2018-2019 school year accountability scores marked back-to-back years Bovina earned the top rating, an accomplishment that was worthy of whatever pomp and circumstance could be organized.

For those who live in the Bovina community, there is a tremendous amount of pride for the school, regardless of its rating and test scores. There’s no amount of testing, program review or metrics that could ever measure what that school means to its community.

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That is why the state accountability scores continue to be a measuring stick that does little measuring. While it takes into account test scores and other student growth marks, it does not provide a complete snapshot of the overall education experience in a school or school district.

It does not measure the fundamentals, the character development or the pure nuts and bolts of teaching that go on each and every day in our community schools.

The state accountability scores cannot and do not measure the overall learning environment in our schools that the Leader in Me program is continuing to shape. It does not measure the life lessons and personal growth our students receive from one-on-one interaction with teachers, and it cannot and does not account for what a day like Farm to School can mean in the life of a young student.

Bovina’s accountability results are without a doubt something to behold, something to cherish and something to celebrate. But the successes in Bovina are far more than what a test can account for.

The children there — and in the rest of our schools — are being taught far more than what a test can measure. They are being taught how to be better people.

And that, as Habit 4 would say, is a win-win.