07/12/06 — It starts early: There’s more to test scores than meets the eye

View Archive

It starts early: There’s more to test scores than meets the eye

Wayne County Board of Education member Thelma Smith is right — in part.

Mrs. Smith reminded her fellow board members and school officials at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday that students did not just appear at Goldsboro High School and suddenly have trouble with tests.

She said that middle schools bear some blame, since they are preparing the students for the next level of education.

She’s right. They do. And if we are really going to solve the problems plaguing Goldsboro High, we have to look carefully at the preparation students get and the progress they show before they even get to high school.

So, once again, a reminder. Fixing Goldsboro High and getting scores higher there is going to require more than a whole new staff and program change at the high school.

As a community, we are going to have to look at preschool preparation, elementary school studies and middle school test scores to determine where best to attack the problem. We are really going to have to look at what these students need and what they are getting.

In addition, we have to look at their home lives — the neighborhoods they live in, the support they get from parents and others and the stresses that might be affecting their school success.

It is time to start thinking about how to gather this information and how to get Goldsboro High off the judge’s list. Talking about the real issues is the best way to start.

Published in Editorials on July 12, 2006 10:31 AM