A New Metrics System for Schools
“We all want straightforward information about what’s working and what needs improvement. We also know there is more to education than scores in reading, writing and math.” ~People For Education~
Here is a question for parents- what do you really want from our schools and school systems? It’s a challenging question for challenging times. One reason for this is that the expectations parents have of our school system are often based upon their own experiences and their own unique contexts and priorities. We want schools to be safe, we want our children to be successful, happy and equipped with both knowledge and skills and we want our children to have friends. Let’s face it; when it comes to school, parents want it all (not to worry- it is okay for a parent to want it all for their child).
The challenge lies in how we decide to define the real success of a school and the ways that we may choose to measure this success. As a school and district we use surveys, focus groups, standardized assessments and and a wide range of demographic data to define and measure; and we respond through our school and board improvement plans.
As a principal, I count the smiles on the faces of the students and adults in the building; a simple but surprisingly useful metric.
The Ontario-based advocacy organization People for Education is exploring this topic because they believe that; “…it is both necessary and possible to create an easy-to-understand Canadian-made set of indicators that will be useful to educators, publicly accepted, and that reflect a complete education.” I encourage parents, educators, interested community members and students to click on this link and join the conversation.