Instructional Innovations

MCHS Newsletter: Week of October 12

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Buckle Your Seat Belt: It's Going to Be a Bumpy Ride!

The state of Georgia released preliminary EOC scores for the 2015 school year in August--and they weren't pretty. Now we need to figure out what we're going to do with this data and how we're going to communicate the change to stakeholders. This is especially prudent as the state begins to roll out scores this week (don't expect to get ours until late October though).

Preliminary Percentages of Georgia Students at Proficient and Above*

Ninth Grade: 38%

American Lit: 35%

Coordinate Algebra: 34%

Analytic Geometry: 33%

Physical Science: 31%

Biology: 38%

US History: 39%

Economics: 39%

*These percentages do not take into account the "developing learner" profile that reflects students who demonstrate partial proficiency.

You can find the state's PowerPoint mentioning this data at this link: Preliminary Georgia Milestone Scores. Look at the Fall Assessment Conference presentation from September 2015. You'll also find the score report format I shared with you earlier this week in academic departments.

What It Means

Georgia has moved to assessments that model NAEP tests, tests that are more rigorous and will reflect lower scores of proficiency across all contents. As I noted before, math has already experienced a drop in scores in their content. Now it's everyone else's turn. This week, the state will begin the release of individual school and student scores, and we need to prepare ourselves, our students, and our stakeholders for lower scores across the board.

Things to Ponder
How will you respond to this data in a way that supports students? What support do you need as the new scores roll out? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Email me. :)

Testing Schmesting (Caught in the Act)

I have been off campus a lot recently--all for good things that I will share with you along our journey together to up our instructional game as a school. This, unfortunately, means that I haven't had the opportunity to spend much time in your classrooms. I know you're doing great things, and I will make up not spotlighting a particular teacher this week--I promise. Instead, I'd like to focus this week as a spotlight to all of you.

I've said enough about testing and data during our work day and the previous article. Now I want to talk a bit about all that you do that isn't reflected in some number, whether it be a CCRPI score or a student's Lexile level. I want you to know what you mean to our students, our school, and our community.

I've started a list of "What the Data Doesn't Show" and I'd like you to add to it. Please add your own comment to this Padlet (double click on a blank space in the Padlet to add your own statement). Add your name or don't--it's up to you. I firmly believe that we can work to take some of the power away from testing; we can control our own data. I'd like to publish the data we generate together on our Padlet in next week's newsletter. Here are some of my ideas about "What the Data Doesn't Show."

What the Data Doesn't Show:

1. The relationships you build with students on a daily basis--yes, even that one kid that drives you crazy;

You're ready to see him go at the end of the year, but he's the first one at your door the next August because you meant so much to him.

2. The hours you spend pondering your next unit's lessons in an act to engage the disengaged;

3. The joy you bring to your kids as you tell some crazy story about when you first read this poem to a girl you liked in 10th grade--and she thought you were a reject. The kids will remember this story and this poem;

4. The tears you cry, metaphorically and literally, when you see the battles our kids face on a daily basis;

5. The money you spend on winter coats, pencils, and anything else a student might need in your class.

I look forward to reading your contributions as we work together in remembering that we all, our kids and ourselves, are more than a number.

Miracle Workers by Taylor Mali

Taylor Mali: Miracle Workers