It's been 15 months since my last blog. Time has really flown by and lots have happened. I am still an assistant principal with Nichols Sawmill Elementary. Our school, its teachers, students, and parents are really buying into the school's vision.
Three days ago, the state of Texas released their proposed A-F rating system for campuses and school district. This system is to take full effect for the school year 2018. But it's not 2018. However, the legislature wants to roll out this system in a “what-if” initiative. “What if this system took the place of our current accountability system?” Under the previous system schools were labeled as meeting expectations or not meeting expectations with improvement required. This roll out will hopefully fire up the Texas grassroots and educational activists. They need to do a detailed investigation into the formulas to which they assign a school’s rating and fix the bugs embedded in this system.
Our school received a “C” rating. According to the State, a “C” rating is considered meeting expectations. But no one wants to have a “C,” not even on a report card.
Since the school ratings were released, I have had some time to reflect and consider how we, as a campus and a district, are to respond.
I am a very competitive person, and the teachers, my school family, are competitive too. When the rating results came out, we felt disappointed, a little defeated. Sometimes, defeat feels like failing. One of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon, had this to say about failure. "Failure is a big part of your path to success. It is not your enemy. It is your partner in growth. It doesn't define you. It refines you!"
We have to move forward from the ratings with a growth mindset. Failure must be our partner, not the enemy. If we want to improve our teaching talents, we have to square up with our partner and go head to head with him. We have to look at the results as an opportunity to refine our practices to which we deliver the instructional content and assess students for mastery.
Lastly, these results do not end in a period. Rather, our rating ends in a comma. What follows the comma is our school vision. Through our teaching, we will continue to prepare our students for the next grade and prepare them to be future citizens of this country and our country. We will strive and press in to teach them attributes like GRIT, empathy, self-control, and integrity. Those traits do not come with a letter rating but they have lasting results to our students’ future.
For our campus rating and the other campuses and districts in the Texas state, visit this link.