Employees, not test scores, make schools great

Dec 20, 2017 by

Dedicated teachers and support staff make a difference for students beyond what any test can measure, Herbart says

Do scores on bubble tests define a great school district? Like all those “Whos” down in Whoville knew (and the Grinch learned), perhaps, just perhaps, it’s something much more.

You can look at every public school in Michigan and find great stories about dedicated teachers and support staff making a difference for students beyond what any test can measure.

One such example is in the Pontiac School District, where employees have endured more challenges in the last few years than most districts experience in a generation: severe underfunding creating large deficits, threats of a state takeover, drastic cuts in employee compensation and benefits. The community also has faced big struggles — poverty chief among them.

Like all public school districts in the state, Pontiac accepts students no matter what difficulties and injustices they have endured in their young lives, no matter what hardships they bring to the classroom. Those kids do their best to learn every day, but they begin far behind the starting line.

Decades of research, studies, and observation have revealed the key factor in reaching and connecting to these students so they can rise above difficult circumstances.

Source: Column: Employees, not test scores, make schools great

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