Thursday, 26 September 2013 00:00
Just this past summer, school districts, including Great Neck, were turned upside down when state test scores were released. For Great Neck, at first glance, the preliminary report indicated that our students were not doing well at all, that their scores had fallen and that many were in need of special help. Well, those results were wrong!
Superintendent of Schools Tom Dolan presented some results, the skewed results, in statements released in the local press and again at a special meeting last Monday evening. Dr. Dolan made it very clear that well in advance, the State
Department of Education “predicted” that scores would go down 30 percent. And the SED was correct. Last April’s test scores did indeed drop 30 percent.
With new tests, and very different scoring, the results were upsetting, even frightening. But are they true indicators of how are children faring in school? The answer is a resounding “no.”
Dr. Dolan explained some of the very different, very skewed manner in which tests are now scored. And he also noted that the full student test results are not in yet. However the teacher and building results are in and Great Neck teachers performed at the very top levels. From this we can surely deduce that the most outstanding teachers will surely produce most outstanding and well-educated students.
In addition, although the state indicated some areas in some schools throughout the state where help is needed, they have yet to offer reports that explain what is actually needed.
The Great Neck School District looked carefully at all results and did determine, that although scores are lower than the norm, if you really look at the scoring, Great Neck students did very well indeed, keeping the district high on the list of well performing schools. And if the district suspected any special needs, they quickly jumped to provide assistance, well before the state could make any suggestions.
Our children are safe and well educated here in Great Neck. Our confidence in our schools remains unshaken, while our resolve that the state has really got it all wrong remains firm!
Wendy Karpel Kreitzman