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Debates about whether a school ought to be closed overlook fundamental questions. Are the metrics used to measure schools reasonable? What makes us think that these are the measures that best capture what matters most? And how can we justify turning away from the testimonies of students, teachers, and families who know, love, and fight for these schools?
The process of innovating must ensure a strong, diverse representation, community-driven decisions, and equitable learning that includes an exploration of identity and bias. The new school designs must feature culturally-responsive curriculum, just policies, and broad community engagement.
Data are common currency in education, with states collecting reams of information each year about students, teachers, schools and districts. But having a lot of data doesn’t mean much if repositories aren’t being used to improve schools and classrooms for all students. MCIEA has an indication that better data can change the narrative about schools and communities.
Accurately measuring the various dimensions of school quality can help education systems improve student and teacher experiences and help stakeholders better understand the elements of school performance. Surveys show that MCIEA's School Quality Measures are making in strides in gauging student and school success in authentic ways.
"Reducing schools to a single number obscures both what they are best at and what they need to improve upon."
Both teachers and students will benefit when we make the shift to authentic professional development. Micro-credentials offer an opportunity to recognize and celebrate what teachers are learning, and encourages them to transfer their learning to their students.
To help build a more comprehensive system for measuring school quality that goes beyond test scores, the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Educational Assessment asked people who had a close-up view of what happens day-to-day in schools – teachers, principals, district administrators, family members, and students – what made a good school.