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.