I continue to hear from last year's graduates, and they are making me proud. One student - a boy who was always incredibly bright but a bit, um, lazy - stopped by my afterschool class this afternoon. I gave him a hug and asked him how it was going. He said really well. I asked him to give some advice to my afterschool students. He said, "If you pay attention in Ms. Frizzle's class, 9th grade Living Environment will be really easy!" You can imagine how big my grin was. He got a 100% in Science the first marking period! (It dropped to an 80% the second marking period, and he claims that's because they got stricter, but I suspect it has more to do with his uneven work habits than anything else... I told him I didn't want to hear about any more 20-point drops...). Another boy has stayed in touch every month or so and reports grades in the 90's. And today, a girl I never expected to hear from emailed me, "i miss your sciecne classes i miss the crazy projects we use to do like the digestive system stocking and stuff my science class now is just boring" Now, of course I'm disappointed that she's not getting a challenging or interesting science education, but I'm also secretly a little thrilled that my former students have come to appreciate what we did and the standards that I held them to.
So maybe I should forget the test scores. The kids' words speak louder than any number ever could.
(The DAA very politely replied to me today with the name and contact info of someone at my Region who can help me. I was, perhaps, a tiny bit harsh yesterday, but I am still unclear on why we have to go through all this. It seems like it would be easy enough to add a couple of fields to the ATS database that would allow a person to query for all the kids who were in a given grade in a given school in a given year, and their test histories. I could probably whip that up in MS Access, for heaven's sake!).