The Indiana Department of Education released the 2016-2017 School Accountability Grades yesterday, and Plainfield schools were once again honored for the high standards and expectations that are part of our culture.
Plainfield High School, which earned a “B” last year, improved to an “A” this year. Central, Clarks Creek and Van Buren elementaries, along with PCMS, repeated as “A” schools, while for the first time in many years, Brentwood slipped from an “A” to a “B.”
So what does this mean? Make no mistake about it – in Plainfield, no one likes to be a “B” school, and no one likes to see their grade drop. And with the high standards and expectations that were mentioned above (and because we’ve known our scores for a few weeks before they could be made public), steps are already in place at Brentwood to re-earn that “A” rating.
Teachers and administrators don’t enjoy testing any more than students and their parents. We would far rather see teachers use their own creativity, timelines and methods of achieving and measuring mastery. But we are public schools, governed to a great extent by state and federal government. And they hold us to very specific standards that unfortunately, change every year or two, which makes it challenging to meet their expectations, while still doing what we think is best for your children.
It’s important to note that Brentwood’s score does not mean that last year’s teaching was not as good as previous years, or that students suddenly began performing poorly on state tests. It does reflect, however, the state’s increased emphasis on student growth, or what you’ve probably heard called “growth mindset.” We need to show not just mastery, but growth as well.
Think about your bank account. If you’re putting aside some money each pay period for a vacation, that’s great – it’s a great practice to have. But the real benefit comes when you take that vacation, and you have a sizeable stash of money to use. That’s growth.
We are proud of all of our teachers, and by extension, our schools. Thank you to our staff, as well as our parents, for your continued support. Students in Plainfield have tremendous opportunities to grow and excel in a wide variety of ways.