Child Matters: Test Scores, Community, Growth

Today we met as a staff and looked over the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Data that came in.  It was a beautiful meeting. Yes, it really was.  I know what you’re thinking …

Here’s why it was beautiful.  Kindergarten teachers sat with third-grade teachers, first-grade teachers sat with fourth-grade teachers, second-grade teachers sat with fifth-grade teachers. Together we looked at students’ scores. We sorted them in a number of different ways. We talked about the students represented by the numbers.

“This one really could have done better,” remarked a teacher across the room.

“Wow, this one did so well!”

“These two were absent so much last year. I think that really hurt both of them.”

Children were acknowledged. It wasn’t just a test score, it was a child. An important learner from our community of learners. Each child matters. They are so much more than this high stakes test score.  They are children with challenges, and siblings and struggles and strengths.  Working together we could put the pieces together that have been coming together since Kindergarten.  Working together we have a larger picture of each child.

Next we looked at how our classes did overall – what percentage were able to meet or exceed the standards?  Our school scored well against the district averages. And still, no one felt satisfied. We want all of our kids to score well on these tests. We want ALL of their beautiful brilliance to shine on through. We want the results of our teaching to show out loud. When a child doesn’t reach the level of understanding we hope for them, doesn’t wind up meeting or exceeding expectations, we are upset.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit RIdgefield SD

The beauty of the work we did together today showed in the way colleagues sat with one another, owned ALL of our students as their own, and then sought answers to how to improve the work we do going forward.

Has good work been done?  Absolutely.

Is there more work to be done? You bet.

Will we stop until we see every single one moving along, growing and learning at increased rates of mastery?  No way!

And we’ll do it together, side by side, student by student, day by day.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: studentonestop

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for a place to share this moment.  Click here to read more Slice of Life Stories.



About Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be You

Principal at the School at the north end of Los Angeles Harbor where AWESOME happens. Working to make the world a little more wonder-full.
This entry was posted in Child Matters, Data, Learning, Passion for teaching, Principal, Students First, Teaching, thoughts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Child Matters: Test Scores, Community, Growth

  1. Tara Smith says:

    “It wasn’t just a test score, it was a child.” May we always look at scores this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jarhartz says:

    The ownership of all students makes for a beautiful place to learn, adults and children alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. csskubik says:

    I love love love how you had everyone meet together across grades and look at scores of “their” kids, instead of just the grade levels that get tested. What a beautiful idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. barbarasut says:

    It is very encouraging to know that these kinds of conversations about test scores are going on amongst teachers. This conversation should be happening at least on a monthly basis in all schools. Perhaps you can suggest it because it was so successful and worthwhile….
    Please read my post for Tuesday on Late Bloomers…another reason why test scores will never give us the definitive profile of our students. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

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