Minnesota has been in the process of standardized testing these past two weeks. At the same time, the US News and World Report annual list of “Best High Schools in the US” came out and it always sparks conversations about what makes schools great. When parents are searching for a new home, one of the criteria many look for is how good the schools are. They want their child to get the best education possible and use rankings like US News to help them make their decisions.
Just how does US News get their results? The process uses school data and doesn’t take into account all of the other amazing projects, activities, and skills that students showcase at their specific schools. The scores are calculated from public schools who score well on their state’s math and reading proficiency tests. From this data, the top 10% are looked at to see which schools’ disadvantaged students scored at a higher rate and which schools met their graduation benchmarks.
In addition, US News uses a formula for Advanced Placement participation rates. They take the number of seniors who took at least one AP test before or during their senior year, divide it by the total number of 12th grade students at the school and then see how many of those scored a three or higher on their exam.
Test scores are not the only true measure of how well students perform in school. They are one data point but don’t tell the whole story. They don’t assess how well a student is able to think critically, solve problems and express themselves clearly. At New Life Academy, we believe that students are more than a test score. We emphasize the need to learn the facts but also focus on how to apply the facts into real world problem solving skills.
Our mission is to educate and energize students to impact their world for Jesus Christ. In addition to the academic learning, there is also the character building, developing emotional intelligence and forming the heart with respect, compassion and empathy. We want the learning that happens here to not stay here. We want the heart developed and the knowledge learned from service days, mission trips, and academic programs like 15% IP to help guide our students to go out and change their world.
A test score does not change the world.
Written by Becky Wallerick, Academic Dean