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Is 'B' good enough?


Copied from an administration blog post by Principal Richard Gow November 3, 2011

While reading responses to a blog about the State's new school waiting system (that places a higher emphasis on improvement and lesser emphasis on competency), I came across the following comments. I share them because they crystallize my personal thoughts on this issue. I also believe the writer offers profound insights into the type of students and parents who are attracted to the Prep even though, according to the State, we are not an "A" school.

"You've got a guy hitting .190 and he raises his average 10 points, and is now hitting .200. There's another guy hitting .345 and he raises his average 3 points, and is now hitting .348. You know which one improved more, but which one do you want in your lineup?"

Continuing with the baseball analogy, the State now says that the .200 hitter is better than a .345 hitter because the .200 hitter improved more. If your son or daughter were choosing between two coaches who would you choose - the coach with a team of players batting .200 or the coach with a team of players batting .348?

Although I believe this is a perfect analogy, I want to be honest, it is flawed. In baseball, you record each at bat. However, the State's evaluation process fro high schoolers only involved two of the four core subject areas, is only for 10th grade, and evaluates only 31% of the teachers in the State of Arizona. So, a student's "statistics" (which lead to a school's rating) excludes their work and knowledge in science, social studies, electives and does not reflect any learning for 9th, 11th and 12th grades.