School systems are often rated by their standardized test scores. Great Schools, a great resource for school evaluations, rates schools using a comparison system based on test scores.
In Texas, the TEA system grades schools based on 4 indexes: student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps, and postsecondary readiness. These factors influence your child’s school performance and matriculation. A recently released report by Republic Title outlines these factors and evaluates Texas public schools. REPORT
While these are important identifiers, test scores don’t tell the whole story. There are other factors that influence our children’s educational development. Social development is an important part of childhood development. These four factors are key evaluation points to consider.
Health & Safety. Creating a safe space for learning is essential to your child’s development. Ask your school district about their safety policies and employee trainings. Services like counseling create emotional safety for your children. Ensure that these services are accessible for your child in times of distress.
Student Culture and Diversity. Art and design has been introduced into the classroom with the new push for “STEAM” education. The classroom is now seen as a place for expression. Consider how the school integrates the individuality and personality of your child in learning. After all, one size does not fit all.
Extracurricular Activities. Learning does not stop in the classroom. After school activities such as sports teach important lessons like teamwork, healthy competition, and confidence. Your children will benefit from the healthy interactions with their peers.
Parent Involvement. As parents we have busy lives, but it is important to stay involved in your child’s development. It is important for your children to know that you are invested in their future. It is a source of motivation and self-esteem.
I want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the push toward social development in the classroom?