Being the "D".

I begin work again tomorrow as a public educator. I have been at the same school now for six years, and the end of the summer is here. My school is one that is labeled by the Florida Dept. of Education as being a "D", based on student scores from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test [FCAT]. Which, brings me to my point. What does being a "D" mean?

This diatribe was sparked by my reading of David Warlick's work on his 2 Cents Worth blog. He writes with a consistent message in mind... Is standardization the key? While I have no simple answer... well, actually yes I do... NO. However, this is a bit more complex than a one word answer. My "D" school is not that at all. If you listen to the suits in Tallahassee, they will tell you that our students are not performing to the standards set by the state... and they would be right.

But, back to Warlick's question, is standardization the key? My school, its faculty, and its students would tell you no, it is not. I believe that we are bringing them in the wrong direction, setting the wrong bars, with the wrong standards. If you came into our school (something I would challenge any politician to take time to do) you would see learning going on. It may not always be the one size fits all kind of learning. However, it is learning nonetheless. You would see our population of students, ones whom have many daily challenges in life, learning about life. But yet, with all of this learning happening... we are still a "D". If being a "D" means that we educate students in ways that they need to be educated, well then I will take it.

I think that is the answer to Warlick's question. We need to educate students in ways they need to be educated... not in the way standards tell us we need to educate.

More to come...

Mike Meechin


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