September 1, 2011 by wcobserver
As sure as day follows night those flexible summer schedules will firm up on the opening day of school. Like some invisible community clock the schools will for many families determine the rhythm of the home and all the daily life that swirls around it. And with all the focus on backpacks, bus schedules and lunch boxes it’s possible to lose sight of the meaning and intent of the whole endeavor – education.
Fortunately for us there is a cadre of professionals in south Washington County who have been keeping their collective eye on the education ball. The band doesn’t play nor does the crowd spring to their feet screaming when the “education team” scores. Victory for them doesn’t come from that fourth quarter field goal or half court buzzer beating shot but rather from the unglamorous often tedious task of putting young minds on the path to learning.
Education isn’t about winning; it’s about advancing and improving, which is precisely what students in both the Greenland and West Fork school districts have shown on the state benchmark exams. While some of the tested knowledge categories improved more than others the overall trend is clearly positive.
The standout improvement in Greenland was the math scores. For example the third grade math scores were at the advanced level, 16 points higher than the state average. West Fork math scores also improved and beat the state average in several categories. West Fork High School scores for literacy showed 35 percent scoring “advanced;” a big improvement over the two percent advanced in 2010.
The importance of education can’t be overstated. In our individual lives and in the well being of our nation it is knowledge and education that will frame the outcome.
While the crowd cheers, the band plays and the trophies are awarded we hope the point of it all is not drowned out. Schools are about that slow, grinding pull and push toward improvement.
“Only the educated are free” – Epictetus
(Who?…look him up).