Todd Rose, the general session speaker on Friday, stated clearly, “There is no such thing as an average student.”
Those words reinforce what I believe, what most of us believe. Yet how do we operationalize that core value? We report progress through grades — a measurement that we believe reports performance on a variety of factors. But the truth is that one student's “A” grade is different than another student's “A” grade. But to the world, and to the parents, each student is seen as probably, substantially the same.
We have state legislators that want to give grades to school — averaging a number of critical performance indicators to come up with one simple explanation for a school's performance. Yet, one school's “A” grade is different than another school's “A” grade.
In my mind, if we, the educators, are serious about accurately reporting performance — for schools, for students — we cannot rely on averages any more.