Changed education standards will take time to grasp

Nov 22, 2013

No matter what field you are in, when the rules change for how something is done, it takes time to adapt.

The latest test scores for education is a case in point.

In 2012, education philosophy across the U.S. changed. New courses of study were developed through a state-led process to help ensure education expectations were standard across the nation to not only address the needs of a mobile society, but to ensure the skills needed in today’s technological age are being taught and mastered.

In addition to the new course of study teachers must convey to students, there were new tests formulated to measure progress.

The first test scores under the new system were recently released, and as many education leaders predicted, the scores were much lower than schools are accustomed to touting.

Only 32 percent of students in grades 3 through 8 were proficient in reading and mathematics in 2012-13, a nearly 27 percent drop from 2011-12, when 58.9 percent of students were proficient. The overall proficiency score for all state tests is 44.7 percent, down from 77.9 percent in 2011-12, a 33-percent drop.

Educators and state leaders, including N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, issued early warnings to help cushion the blow they knew was coming. The lowered scores, they said, would be the result of the more rigorous course standards and higher expectations now in play.

The good news in Haywood is that its ranking within the 115 public school districts in the state is still near the top. Overall, Haywood ranks 17th in the state. Within the region, the ranking is a bit below the urban districts, and far above the those of neighboring rural districts. several of which are well below the state average.

School administrators are more upset with the failure to meet expected academic growth standards at two the our three high schools (Central and Tuscola) and all three middle schools. It’s a situation that’s being taken seriously, and that’s a good thing.

As school leaders make decisions at the top to address shortcomings within our school system, they need help. While the community as a whole benefits when education is top notch, students and their families benefit even more.

Adults within our community, whether parents, grandparents, or even concerned neighbors who want to volunteer to help, need to become familiar with what is now required to learn a body of knowledge to succeed in today’s world, and do what they can to help our future leaders achieve that goal.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.