Monday, July 21, 2008

Kids play a part too

MSA test score gains are something we can all feel good about, but let's remember everybody chips in. And where the graphite hits the paper is in the students' hands. When you look at extraordinary scores, you can see them travel with the group of students. That shows that individual kids can make a difference.

Certainly individual teachers and principals can make a difference as well, and since they have an impact on many students they can make a big difference. Principals get recognition (and bonuses in some cases I believe) when test scores make AYP for their schools. I think that teachers get recognition for MSA tests results, though I'm not sure. Hopefully, if a teacher consistently has classes with good MSA grades they would be told and would be asked to share what they are doing with other teachers. If I've got that wrong, let me know.

But the students get no recognition. Test results are sent home and parents may or may not make a big deal over the results, but there are no school awards. In my experience, when kids get good grades or have good attendance they get recognized in assemblies and with certificates. When they do well on the MSA, there are no such recognitions. I suppose there are some kids that this recognition could back-fire with (they don't want to be labeled as geeks or something), but for most I would think this would be positive. Maybe there would even be some surprises if MSA scores were acknowledged. I've seen awards for taking the MSA, but nothing for the results. Why?

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