Two of my think-tank coworkers blogged about this morning's meeting already, so I'll send you there to get the details.
What a way to start the year- When they announced this morning that we had a meeting with someone from Central Office I felt a sense of dread. Why would they be here if we weren't in trouble? Or Central Office wasn't coming to tell us about some new policy of initiative. Don't they know we have a million things to do?
Yet once she started talking I was right there with splattypus getting goose bumps as our cluster superintendent praised us for our hard work and the miracles that happened within our school last year, despite not making AYP for the second year in a row. She praised our high scores, how we teach every child (not just focusing on ones' who fit into a certain subgroup in order to manipulate the numbers), the dedication of our administration to empower the teachers, and how we, despite our extremely diverse population, do not have achievement gaps. Our numbers are growing upward in all subgroups.
We'll be listed in the paper as a "Failing School" whenever the list comes out, and we're facing all sorts of craziness as we look at how to increase our scores and make that magical 100% pass rate in 2014. The general public will never know how amazing it was that we did so well even though we gained over 150 students- many who did not speak English- and that we still managed to get the great test scores we did- that we only failed in one area- where only a small handful of students' test scores impacted that final "fail". We know what it's like, we've been there. And we're getting ready to teach our hearts out the minute our new little ones walk in the door on Monday morning.
But for a moment, this morning, it was wonderful to sit in the library with all of our think-tank staff and listen to someone exclaiming that we are a miracle.