Georgetown ISD looking for new way to measure student success

Georgetown ISD using new student guidelines

Georgetown ISD officials want to hear from the community as they create a new way to measure student success. 

"We do so much more than just one standardized test on one given day," said Georgetown Superintendent Fred Brent. 

Public school districts are required by the state to administer the STAAR test each year to measure skills like reading and math. 

But Brent told KVUE there's more to look at.

"I don't know that anyone really understands what the STAAR test does and what it measures. I'm a father of three kids in our schools, it doesn't tell me what I want to know about my children," said Brent. "Everything is measured by just one simple test and, quite honestly, we feel like it's driving a car with only one instrument on the dashboard."

The students will still take the STAAR test, but as a district, they're working to create a community-based accountability system -- a new way to measure student success.

They're looking at skills like a student's critical thinking, collaboration and how do they deal with failure.

But the district wants to hear from those in the community.

"These are our schools, these are our kids, and this is our money, and we feel like our community members need to tell us what they value and what they measure," said Brent. "What evidence do they need from us that tells them that their child is growing academically and performing in other areas than just a STAAR test." 

East View High School senior Josephina Valdez spoke to KVUE on her last day of high school classes.

While she's getting ready to go off to college, she's still voicing her opinion about how student success is measured in the K-12 school district.

"When we just have one thing to look at, we're kind of left with a lot of unanswered questions," said Valdez.

And for many schools, that one measurement is the STAAR test.

"I like having more ideas towards what a student can do, what are their potentials what are their strengths and their weaknesses, and that test particular doesn't tell that about a student," said Valdez.

Surrounding districts like AISD, Leander and Round Rock all told KVUE that they, too, try to look at the whole student to measure their success, not just one STAAR test.

"There's so many other things we need to know about our students and their learning and we need multiple measures," said Brent.

The district heard from community members this spring. They will continue the process and get more in-depth this fall.

Brent said he expects the entire process of gathering information from the community to take about a year, so they hope to roll out these new measurements in the spring of 2018.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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