Scores good indicators

Published 11:16 am Wednesday, September 6, 2006

By Staff
Standardized test scores can be a difficult beast.
They are seemingly easy to understand - students either passed or failed, right? - but they actually paint a much more complicated picture of what's happening behind the scenes.
For example, the scores we see don't tell us what the test was like - was it somehow harder this year? Were the questions biased? And the scores also don't tell us - at least on the surface - who the teachers are - and what kind of support they are getting.
Still, those test scores are the best measure we have of how a school, its teachers and its students are performing.
And judging by that, Brewton and East Brewton schools are performing very well.
Not only did nearly all of the schools achieve their Adequate Yearly Progress goals under the No Child Left Behind Act, they also saw nearly across-the-board improvements in test scores, from math and reading to writing assessment to the graduation exam.
There were some slipups hear and there, but for the most part, scores are steadily improving.
And that's a reflection of a number of things. You can look beyond the numbers and see that test scores and performance have improved since the schools in Escambia County and Brewton received more money from a 10-mill ad valorem tax increase in 2003.
You can look beyond the numbers - all you have to do is peek into any classroom on any campus - and see that teachers and students are working hard all the time to improve academics at the schools.
But no matter how hard they work, they always need the support from the community. And we can all give that to them on Tuesday by voting for the 4-mill tax renewal for schools.
Our community's success will always be tied to its schools. Right now, we can be truly proud of how well our schools and students are performing - but we have to keep up our support so that everyone knows how important education is to our community.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at

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