Haukeness: Why are we so concerned about test scores?

Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 5:27 PM
Lori Haukeness

The district received our state test scores showing the growth and achievement of our students this month. As a parent and a long-time educator, I know that each of our students is so much more than a test score. So, you may be wondering why do we care so much about these test scores?

As the Superintendent and Board of Education, we care because we have made two important commitments to our students, their families and our community:

We are committed to ensuring all students are able to read, write, and do math on grade level

We are committed to ensuring all students graduate prepared for college and career.

These two commitments are important to us because they represent our students’ ability to fulfill their potential and reach for their dreams. The test scores we receive from the state are one piece of information that we look at to see if we are meeting our commitments. In looking at this year’s test scores, I am happy to report that as a district we are making strong progress toward meeting these commitments.

First, in the past three years we have increased the percentage of students who are reading on grade level in elementary by 6 percent and in the last four years we’ve improved the percentage of middle school students who are reading on grade level by 14 percent. We’ve improved the percentage of students who are doing math on grade level by 4 percent over the past four years in elementary and by 3 percent in the past three years in middle school. Our high school students are growing faster than students across the state in their improvements in the PSAT and SAT scores, which let us know if students are ready for college. And more students are graduating every year with choices for their next steps. They are graduating ready for college and with practical skills they need to immediately enter careers of their choice ranging from medical to culinary to welding.

We are grateful for all the hard work that our students and teacher have put forward to attain these scores and this growth. We remain committed to continuing this growth until we are the highest performing rural district and all of our students are meeting these goals.

We will use the data from these recent test scores in two important ways: to support individual students to continue to grow and achieve, and to support each of our schools to better serve students who are struggling and those who are excelling.

If you have questions about your child’s scores or how your school is supporting them please reach out to your child’s teacher or your school’s principal or to me as superintendent. We are all here to ensure that all our students receive the education they need to prepare them for their next steps in life.

Lori Haukeness is superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. Reach her at Education Update appears in the Journal on the fourth Friday of every month.