September 25, 2014
This week our MCAS scores and accountability ratings were released to the public. The scores were not what any of us had hoped. These scores do not reflect who I know us to be as a learning community. I know that we are more than a number on a page, a ranking in the newspaper or a score on a test. I know the effort each of our talented teachers puts into teaching. I see quality instruction in classrooms every day. I believe in what we are doing. Our students are bright, talented individuals who bring so much to the table. They are not a number or a point on a graph. They are individuals who laugh, cry, create, wonder, and learn. I see their growth academically and socially. They are so much more than one test can measure. Our MCAS scores do not reflect the effort, the tireless hours, the dedication and passion that I believe each of our educators brings to their craft. The Hudson Public Schools are more than these scores; but when we are in the bottom half of schools in Massachusetts, on every test, at every grade level, we have to pause and reflect. Are our students learning what we spend so much time and effort teaching?
I never want to see Hudson become a place where we spend countless hours on rote memorization and prepping for a State mandated test. Please, be clear that is not my intention or message. I don’t have the answer to this problem, yet, and it is a problem.
In the coming days, weeks, and months I will be asking you, as a Hudson Community, to engage in some difficult conversations and think of innovative ways to insure that we are responsive to and meeting our students’ needs. I know that we will engage in these conversations from a place of trust, openness, and partnership.
These results initially made me feel defeated. As I further considered the place we find ourselves in, I began to feel hopeful. We are a community that pulls together in times of worry and distress. Each of us owns the learning and achievement of ALL students not just our small piece. We will approach this problem as a community and we will succeed.
Your Partner in Learning,