One of my teachers said: “When you first came here you were all about kids. lately, it seems that all you talk about is test scores.”
Sometimes we have to have someone else hold up the mirror for us. In the climate of NCLB, it is so easy to lose our way. But I know this, “caring about our students” and motivating high levels of academic achievement are not mutually exclusive goals. There is no reason why my students can’t excel on any academic achievement test. Not enough of them do, and that means they are not performing to their full potential. And when a person fails to achieve their full potential, we all pay. But none of us pay as dearly as our students do. So there is a moral, ethical, professional obligation to monitor how our students perform on these tests and try to help them do as well as they can. There is an obligation to learn from the data, to make good adjustments, and to improve our programs and services.
I wondered… Isn’t that what being child-centered means? We can care about kids AND how well they achieve in school without sacrificing our humanity.