Unfortunately, I must miss the gala that will be hosted by the incredible volunteers of the Madison Education Foundation on Friday, November 13, at the Madison Hotel because I teach two classes on Friday afternoon and evenings in New York. I am sure it will be an enjoyable occasion.
I do not know if the detailed PARCC standardized state test results will be released by then, but they will come soon. It seems like an opportune time to emphasize that Madison is in competition with other districts to attract education-minded families to live within its borders. The more that we attract, the stronger our parent and student peer groups are. Stronger peer groups enhance academic achievement, and they contribute to attracting more education-minded families in the future, creating what might be considered a virtuous circle.
In order to do our best to get on that path, we must continue to devout ourselves to providing the best educational process possible to our students, and we must simultaneously give some attention to the competitive parts of the process. Education-minded re-locators will seek out information about school quality. We must stay cognizant of what they are seeing. We need to be able to highlight the good and explain the bad, keeping in mind that sometimes the trend is more important than the level. We also need to be knowledgeable about the details of the ratings creation process and the state information flows about performance rankings.
It would be wonderful if every resident could be a salesperson for the Madison schools when they choose to be. The better we can arm them with information, the more confident they will feel discussing what Madison has to offer.