Governor Jay Inslee hosted a dinner at the Governor’s mansion in Olympia for newspaper publishers.
From Eastern Washington as my husband [newspaper publisher] and I are, he cheers for EWU Eagles! But that’s not the only reason, he said. EWU takes flack for a low graduation rate, and many in power would like to ‘do something about that.” Inslee said that statistics don’t tell the whole story. They don’t tell you that EWU accepts students other colleges won’t even look at, giving them a chance they would not otherwise have. Some of them don’t finish, but many become shining stars.
Hmmm. I say there is one more thing about that– even those who don’t finish have more education and new experiences that will still help them do better in their lives. Statistics can’t tell you those stories.
And these stories are another reason why standardized tests should not be used to label students, teachers, and schools as failures. They don’t tell near enough of the story. And they don’t help teachers with their instruction or students with their learning. The only good test is the one a teacher gives in the classroom.
Teachers use data every moment in their classrooms– the kind that really matters. Are students getting it? What other info do they need? What feedback will help them improve but not give up? What is better about Harry’s work today? What else would help him? Oh,Look– Sandy got it today and is helping Harry. This is the only data that really matters.
Yes: This is the only data that really matters for teaching and learning. Let us focus most on that.
Just like EWU, it’s that person, at that moment, given the opportunity to add to their lives — that is what counts.
Thanks, Governor, for knowing that.
PS: I was one of those students. Thank you EWU!
Photo: Sheri Edwards
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