The district's 2015-16 test results which make up the State Report Card that was released on 9-15 are not results which accurately reflect the education that our students receive on a daily basis. I visit classrooms often, and I witness students who are actively engaged in the learning process.
Standardized tests are not the most accurate measurement of student learning, and test scores are down in the entire state. While district scores were far away from the percentage needed to pass the indicator in many cases, our scores match, surpass or are very close to the state's average in many cases.
Many Ohio superintendents are lamenting the fact that the assessments have changed each of the past three years and that students and staff are trying to hit a moving target, and that is true. We are trying to do that; however, I choose to focus on improvements that we can make regardless of the assessments that are used.
I'm proud of the staff and administrators in this district. When I visit classrooms and attend meetings, it is clear to me that optimum student learning is the goal of everyone. Having written that, however, improvement in all areas is also a goal for all district employees.
I have asked our staff not to focus on the scores. Instead, I've asked them to build positive relationships with our students, sincerely care about our students, teach our students to think critically, make sure our students are active participants in the learning process, and inspire our students to seek more information about topics elsewhere. If all of us do these things, our students will learn.
I'm also asking our staff to set a goal of receiving a positive response to these four questions from parents/guardians. If we can do that, we are being successful as a district regardless of our test scores.
1. Does your child experience success at school on a regular basis?
2. Do teachers and administrators provide you with ample evidence that your child DOES experience success regularly?
3. Is your child learning anything of value? How do you know?
4. Does your child feel good about himself/herself?
I'm hopeful that you CAN respond affirmatively to these four questions every day. I believe your children are receiving a quality education in the Tecumseh Local School District!