- Explain how SOL assessment scores of students and their school can be translated into external benefits to investments in education?
- Can a society sustain itself if it is only concerned about the mental contributions of its citizenry? Are schools only about SOLs? Explain your position on this two questions.
1. SOL assessments are directly related to a school’s accreditation. This is directly related to people’s perceptions of good vs. bad schools. Public opinion seems to be that schools who earn accreditation must be doing something right and schools that don’t, must not know what they are doing. When people are looking to find a community to live in, one of the factors they often look into is the school system. Communities that have a good “school report card” tend to attract more people than those that don’t. People moving in helps increase the economy of that community.
- I do believe that an educated citizenry has a better chance of growing and flourishing than one that does not. However, I use the term “educated” loosely. I don’t believe all people are meant for traditional and/or post-secondary education. Some people can have all the formal education in the world but no common sense. Some can have no formal education and yet are highly intelligent and capable of contributing to our society in huge ways. We need to be concerned about having options to fit all types of people in our society – not boxing everyone into a formal/traditional education track.
- Are schools only about SOLs? This is such a tricky question. I would like to believe that the answer is NO, but the reality is….there is just TOO much pressure around these scores for them not to play a HUGE role in a school’s day to day operation. On one hand, I don’t care what those scores are because I know my students and I know they have grown and that is what is important to me! On the other hand, I know that these are the expectations and I want to prove that my students can be successful on them. I think there have been positive changes in education that have come because of high stakes testing as well as negative changes. I don’t know if there is a perfect balance but I feel like they make people more scared and worried than anything else and that saddens me. I can only hope that we will get the right people in the right position who will work to do what’s best for children and if we know something isn’t what’s best for children, we will change it.