Some Things Test Scores Don’t Measure

As every educator knows, school is about much, much more than a test score on a standardized test that is somehow supposed to tell us the worth of a teacher.  As much as anything, schools are communities and learning is more than what is in a textbook or on a computer.

This point is driven home vividly as Tallapoosa County school system superintendent Joe Windle relates in this story of one student.

“It was senior night and all senior cheerleaders, basketball players, managers and their parents were going to be recognized before the start of the varsity boys game last Tuesday at Dadeville high. 

Quandarius Moss is a senior basketball player at DHS.  Tragically his parents were both killed in an automobile accident in January coming back from the Dadeville vs. Auburn basketball game.  When his name was called he had no parents to join him at midcourt. 

However, 10-15 high school teachers and two Auburn University students who are interning with us came out of the stands and stood with this young student-athlete as he was recognized.  They hugged him; told him they loved him; they would always be there for him; and they were now his second family.

There was not a dry eye in the building, including the three game officials. I wonder how this would factor into the RAISE bill evaluations?”

This afternoon I sat in the crowd at the School Superintendents of Alabama legislative conference.  A legislator talked about how she will  sponsor a bill to gather extensive data on students, basically from cradle to grave.  But as the good folks of Dadeville showed last week, students are much more than data points.  And trying to reduce the value of education and all it encompasses into an algorithm is chasing Fool’s Gold.

One Response to Some Things Test Scores Don’t Measure

  1. Right on target, as usual. Educators don’t go into education for the paycheck we receive, our reward will be waiting for us when we leave this earth. Our memory will live on through the lives we touch today. We are one of the few professions that actually get to touch the future. Standardized test do not measure the heart of an educator, they do not understand the struggles some children endure on a daily basis, they don’t realize that at the age of 8 some kids are their parents caretakers, they don’t measure the small victories we celebrate daily for a student with autism; instead legislatures have decided to take a look at one hour out of an entire school year and use that data to determine whether or not a teacher is effective in the classroom. Do they not realize there is so much more to education than just teaching? Do they not realize that a test score does not reflect the ability of a child? Apparently not. It will be a sad day for education if the RAISE act passes. The best and the brightest in education are leaving in droves. When there are no decent educators left in the classroom and scores hit rock bottom, legislators will point their finger and say, ‘See, we were right!’. What they need to be looking at is where the rest of their fingers are pointing.