With the recent release of students' MAP scores for our older students, we understand that parents may be left wondering about what they mean, why they matter, and what they say about what a child is learning at Lab.
As I recall sharing in most open houses, I have fundamental disagreement with the overuse of testing, the arbitrariness of what is tested, and the lack of useful data that results from testing. I also understand the purposes of testing, both theoretically - for quality control - and practically - for funding. If it was up to me, however, we would do little, if any, standardized testing (and would follow systems like those used by many private schools). Unfortunately, as a public charter school in NC, testing is and will continue to be part of our reality.
First, I want to share with you all again the testing presentation I gave last December, which includes articles, Lab's perspective on testing, and an overview of the tests we do give, the rationale for each, and the gaps that each test leaves.
Second, I want to share that, even in combination, these tests will never provide an accurate or comprehensive picture of what your child is learning at Lab. Each component of our model was designed intentionally to foster the habits, skills and mindsets that experts frequently cite are most important to a person's success in life (not to grow a few points on a standardized test).
To learn more, I encourage you to read Tony Wagner's book, Most Likely to Succeed. Later this year, Lab will be hosting a screening of the accompanying documentary film and we look forward to the conversation. I hope that we as a community can be part of a growing movement that wants our children - and therefore, our schools - to look beyond the numbers.
Mary Moss Brown
Head of School