Friday, November 10, 2006

But are they learning?

In the middle of the fuss about dress codes and balanced calendars the measure of the real missions of public schools may get overlooked. Some are opining that's exactly the goal--distraction from the facts about whether these children are actually learning.

10 days late the state Department of Education will finally make this data available at 3:00 p.m. today (note this use of the late Friday news cycle tactic). Hopefully, reporters will take the weekend to go through this and lead with legitimate information Monday and not just MNPS press release quotes.

Metro Nashville Public Schools will hold their own Q & A just prior at 1:15 p.m. in the Board of Education room on Bransford Avenue.

"We expect to see information showing improved achievement in our district," said Paul Changas, district director of assessment and evaluation.

"A lot of data has been reported. What we have seen has been encouraging, but there are still a lot of areas that we need to address."Tennessean

Yes, indeed. I'm looking forward to the comparisons that the Save Our Students folks promised Nashvillians last spring. I'm convinced they will bring essential context to these numbers while providing accountability that the system has sorely needed. And we'll know better whether Superintendent of School Pedro Garcia actually earned his new three year contract.

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