Not Everything that Can Be Counted Counts…[Feed students before weighing them]

Board of Education testimony May 27, 2021

by Deborah Grill

I am speaking tonight on Item 19 the 6 point 5 million dollar contract with Renaissance and Illuminate Education to monitor student progress toward meeting the Boards Goals.  

I will begin by quoting professor William Bruce Cameron  “ Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Renaissance would be used to measure academic progress and needs via standardized testing.  

lluminate Education was selected to provide a universal screening method to identify students’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs.

Wouldn’t teachers who see and interact with students on a daily basis, who form relationships with their students, be able to measure student progress and assess what they have learned through teacher-made tests and daily observation?

Wouldn’t school counselors be more appropriate than an algorithm to assess and address a child’s social, emotional and behavioral needs?  

You don’t need these assessments to know how and why you are not meeting your goals.  You are not meeting your goals because your schools are starving for adequate staffing, resources and supports. If people are starving, you first and foremost, spend your limited funds on food to feed them, not on scales to weigh them.   

Use the funding you would spend on all of your online “assessments programs” to start supplying your schools with the resources they need to deal with their students’ academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs: lower class size, provide more counselors, nurses, climate managers, full-time NTAs, classroom librarians and school libraries, bi-lingual assistants, playgrounds, safe buildings,  Over the past 20 years the district has spent money to obsessively weigh its students and its schools.  It is about time you  focused on feeding them before you weigh them.