Focused on Improvement…Committed to Success
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the chance to read the waiver to NCLB (No Child Left Behind) that was submitted by our state superintendent of schools, Dr. John Barge. As I read over the nearly 250 pages of assurances, definitions, performance measures, proposals, and rationale I realize my need to remain focused…committed. I encourage you to take some time to look over the waiver (found here), but in the event that you are unable to do so, I wanted to share some highlights with you. In a nutshell, there are three principles that frame the intentions and rationale of this request for flexibility from NCLB.
Principle 1: College and Career Ready Expectations for All Students.
AT GHS, we have four thematic academies that are focused on providing our students with greater career exposure and participation in our CTAE programs. We have also broadened our academic course offerings and increased the number of students who are taking advanced placement courses. Similarly, we have increased the number of students who are taking the ACT and SAT to help ensure that more of our students are applying and being admitted in our state university system.
Principle #2: State-Developed Differentiated recognition, Accountability, and Support.
AT GHS, we have revised our school Balanced Scorecard in an effort to be more closely aligned with the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). The CCRPI takes into account a more holistic approach to a school’s performance with regards to determining AYP. School’s AYP determinations will also include efforts such as AP Tests, College-bound graduates, closing the achievement gap, and CTAE participation, as well as the graduation rate.
Principle #3: Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership.
AT GHS, we are piloting the new Teacher Keys Evaluation System (TKES). We have 10 teachers who will help the state to identify strengths and deficiencies of the new system before we roll it out next school year. The Teacher Keys Evaluation System will utilize measures of student achievement and growth, including student-learning objectives for non-tested grades and subjects, and surveys of teacher professional practices.
While I realize that there are many unknowns regarding the landscape of K-12 education, I also realize that GHS is in a good position to stay abreast of the changing landscape. I truly believe that we are doing the right things in our effort to create a quality educational experience for our students. And In the midst of the scurry, with respect to coming changes, I wanted to take a moment to remind you that regardless of the uncertainties, GHS remains Focused on Improvement and Committed to Success.