Our teachers and staff are the best in the state and we must continue to support then with a good compensation package, as well as professional development. We are preparing our children for careers and jobs that don’t even exist yet and many of those jobs require strong foundations in STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics). How our teachers guide instruction through critical thinking and teamwork is essential since these skills are necessary in the work environment. We want all our students to graduate and be Career and College ready. We have excellent Academies at the Applications Research Laboratory but we may want to look a specific Talent Schools that focus on STEM, Music and Arts, and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs.
No one likes testing but we need valuable assessments that inform parents, teachers and students and that guide instruction of students. While we have one of the lowest testing times for students in the state I am encouraged by the recommendations from the legislative committee on assessments and feedback has been given by the board to the state board for recommendations. (link to legislative committee report)
The MAP testing is a local assessment that has given us some of that guidance. Preliminary results are encouraging. 1058 students that have been part of the MAP pilot have gone from below and on grade level to grade level and above grade level.
Investing in infrastructure has allowed us to now have valuable data in place that can assist the board in decision making.