Important to Balance – by Maria Moran
There are innovations in education, and in education evaluation, all the time in forward-thinking states like Connecticut. One such innovation in evaluation is the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Next Generation Accountability Index, an accountability model that moves beyond just test scores and provides a more holistic, multi-factor perspective of school performance. The State of Connecticut recognizes schools for being in the top 10 percent of this index. As a teacher at such a school, I would like to share some great news: Joel School in Clinton is one of those schools!
Joel was recognized by the Connecticut State Department of Education as a School of Distinction. Joel was one of only 65 public elementary and middle schools in Connecticut to receive this acknowledgment for being among the top 10 percent of schools with respect to the Next Generation Accountability Index. Overall, in the various categories, only 116 schools were recognized of more than 1,100 Connecticut public schools.
Going back over many years, Clinton has stood out among shoreline towns as the only town with a very vocal “No” group advocating for the failure of every budget every year, no matter if Clinton’s education operating budget increase is the lowest increase around, as it’s been so many recent years (it has often been under one percent) or more in keeping with the two- or three- or four-percent increases that many shoreline towns have had many recent years, as Clinton’s is this year.
I think it’s very important to balance those Clinton voices who say “No” to everything every year, with other voices who say to taxpayers, “You are investing normal amounts of money in your schools and getting great results.” For this reason, I add my voice to encourage your readers vote on May 10 with balance and context.