Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wherein We Climb Into Mediocrity

Statewide rankings are out. Slightly divergent from the standard-referenced Academic Performance Index (API) these rankings compare schools across California. You get two: how you do relative to everybody and how you do relative to "like schools" that share key demographics.

When I started teaching at my school four years ago through a Teach For America placement, we were a 1 statewide and a 1 or 2 in like-schools. We sucked. Everyone was better. This had apparently been going on for quite some time.

After much work and reform, we found out today that we are a 5 statewide, and a 10 in the like-schools index.

POY described this latter ranking as the "cop-out award," but D5 took issue. (I'm paraphrasing): "No, this isn't a cop-out. Because of our population we have to work harder, we have to concentrate more and focus on critical skills. The 10 shows we're really succeeding."

I'm going with D5. I love that 10. Love it. It validates an instructional/structural model, as well as individual strategies and approaches. It is another token of accomplishment, verification that the way we have chosen to work with student-populations comprised of ELL, low-SES kids is as powerful as any currently operating in California. I like the 5, too. The 5 says we're still mediocre. The 5 says you cannot be content with this, that even after the improvements these kids still deserve more. The conversations cannot stop, the improvements and modifications and reforms cannot stop. The 5 says that, for whatever accolades have been earned or bestowed, whatever sense of pride or accomplishment you carry with you, you've still only scratched the surface of what must be done.


Blogger Al said...

Aye. The job's never done. But the progress means you're not spinning your wheels, either, so congrats on that!

6:55 PM  

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