How did PBC schools fare?
My school, North Grade K‑8, has earned back its A school grade from the State of Florida! You might think this is cause for us to celebrate at North Grade, and many are — rightly. They’ve earned it! But I’m not joining in.
For those of you in school systems that don’t use letter school grades to determine funding, this might not seem like a big deal. But for us, it is. And while we are happy that North Grade has regained its A, we are upset for our hardworking, dedicated colleagues whose schools didn’t get that same letter.
North Grade was an A school for almost a decade when the test changed from the FCAT to the FSA – all of the sudden we received a C school grade The only thing that changed was the hoops we had to jump through.
Today, we are the only public school in our small Florida city to earn a higher than a D school grade. You know what? We’re not that much better than the other schools.
My friends and colleagues all over town work as hard, plan as well, care as much, know as much, study and worry as hard as we do at North Grade. But today they’re finding out that all their hard work and effort and care and love and sweat and tears is for a grade that doesn’t reflect any of that. These grades affect THEIR social-emotional health. And that all rolls down to affect the students. It’s hard to learn in a miserable school lacking in play, fun and joy.
School success is much more than standardized test grades. We need to collect and analyze what Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan call Street Data to find out what truly matters in the quality of education at a school.
Play and fun are integral to successful learning, and it’s hard for demoralized teachers to integrate those into their days. As educators, we need to push for changes in how success is measured so we can help every student achieve.
Director of Joy, Improv 2 Improve
Play. Fun. Joy.
(It’s serious business!)