More Than A Test Score

My friend, Dr. Melinda Strickland, runs the  fantastic Floyd County Education Center, an alternative school in Rome, Georgia.  I am honored that she asked that I write the forward to her new book, More Than A Test Score, published today by Rowman and Littlefield.

No matter what variety of educational program is used to motivate students the bottom line knows the people within the circle of influence are behind every effort the student faces.  Our students are the future leaders, parents, workers and citizens of our society. While tests and accountability are very important; the outcome is far greater than basing achievement on individual performance on tests. Information included in this book, derives from educators who empower students to take ownership in their educational journey by using a variety of strategies and programs to meet the needs of the students.

The strategies target academic, behavioral and social components in education. Each successful program has one common element that rises above anything else and that is the element called empowerment! Building relationships is one of the main keys to success in school and every endeavor faced by the youth of our society. Success stories showed how caring about the individuals has made a difference.

Education needs to refocus on the lives of the students. Accountability is important and testing a crucial part of education; however, it is not the ONLY part that should be measured. True accountability would be to look at the students five years upon completion of their chosen pathway and see where they fit in society. Are they productive members? Are they self-sufficient, reliable, and strong in work ethic?

We need to continue to develop strategies that will empower the students to become adults that are making a difference in society. Listen to what the students are saying. Let each one buy into their trek toward success. Teach them the best way to learn and allow the world of digitalization to be part of the process. Surround yourself with positive people that will support and help develop your dream. Most of all, remember the students have hopes, dreams and ambitions. They need you to help guide them and encourage them to be the best each one can be. Meet them where they are and set high expectations. Believe in the youth and challenge education to be the bright spot in the lives of the learners. Be the adult that each student will say played a significant role in influencing their life. Don’t judge the success of the students, or the teaching, based on test results. These students are our future – they are MORE THAN A TEST SCORE!