Spring 2018/2019 School Year
Teachers And Staff Make The Difference
As public schools across Indiana enter another season of standardized testing, school letter grades and statistical rankings, I am mindful of the true heroes of public education, our teachers and staff members.
West Lafayette Schools is made up of outstanding teachers and staff members who work tirelessly every day to ensure our students have what they need to be successful despite, in some cases, extreme difficulties.
Students come to our schools from a variety of backgrounds, all with varying levels of needs. In short, our students are non-standardized and it’s unfortunate that Indiana continues to place so much emphasis on a standardized test to measure the perceived effectiveness of teachers and school districts. A single letter grade or one test score should not define our students, teachers and schools.
If we really want to make a difference in public schools, Indiana should focus more on the well being of our students, teachers and staff members. Rather than spending over $100 million on a broken testing system, why not reinvest those resources towards student mental health services and teacher/staff resources? Our students will be better served if we provide our teachers and staff members with the resources they need including better compensation.
The State School Superintendent of Georgia, Dr. Richard Woods, just published an op-ed about the same issue going on in his state. He challenges his state’s accountability system which has the same premise found in Indiana, using a standardized test to measure the effectiveness of teachers and school districts. I agree with his final statement; “Our mission is to prepare children for life, not a test.” (http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/PressReleaseDetails.aspx?PressView=default&pid=649)
It’s not a test score that will determine how our children will do in the real world; it’s the quality of the teachers teaching them that will have the greatest impact. So if you support this idea please consider contacting your legislators and letting them know. As Jamie Vollmer says, “schools cannot do it alone.” I need your help in this cause. I hope you will stand with me in saying that it is our teachers and staff members who really make a difference.
Dr. Rocky Killion
Superintendent of Schools
Superintendent of West Lafayette Community School Corporation
New Intermediate School
Robert Kelly Performing Arts Center
James Guy Education Wing
Richard Wachs Aquatic Center
Additional Superintendent Articles
- Replacing ISTEP+: Let's Get It Right This Time
- ISTEP Resluts Do Not Define Indiana's Children or It's Schools
- Brace for Lower ISTEP Scores
- Accountability Without Standarization
- pdf Education by Humiliation
- pdf Public Education Reform
- The Roadmap to a World-Class Education
- Busting Four Myths to Indiana's School Choice Legislation
- Education Reform: Perception vs. Realty
- Right Path for Public Education