Accountability is about more than just a test

Gary Martel

DISD Superintendent

It is standardized testing time again in TEXAS! Makes me want to ________! Well you can fill in the blank!
I am joining several of my colleagues around the state who are writing letters to their parents to hopefully help ease some of the concerns with state testing. I am very fortunate to work in Diboll ISD where the local school board does not over emphasize standardized test scores. The board makes it clear that each student is unique and we should look at multiple data sources as we progress from PreK-12th grade. The board and administration believes in accountability but it should be more about student growth and it should take into account all of the “stuff” that can’t be measured on one test, on one day of the year.
Over the next few weeks, you will be receiving your child’s results of the state-mandated assessment.  Although this standardized test is used by the state to score and rank our campuses and our district, this is not the only standard we use at Diboll ISD.  Your child means so much more to us than just a test score.  There is no test that can assess what makes each student special. Our students are encouraged to be involved in community and extracurricular activities to build upon their talents – like theatre, art, athletics, band, cheerleading, drill team, UIL academics, agriculture, career technology, and numerous other clubs and organizations. We have students who work after-school jobs or care for younger siblings into the late hours of the evening. This test cannot measure when your child is kind, thoughtful, trustworthy or helpful. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
As a parent, educator and member of this community I know in my heart that Diboll cares about: “Every Child! Every Day! Every Way!  We have supportive businesses, city officials, Civic Clubs, churches and parents who all support our students in this journey called education. Over the years you have supported us in bond elections to develop new and improved facilities. As our community you have shown continued support to our Red & White scholarship program and in turn, we have awarded scholarships to every graduating DISD senior that applies.  Our Diboll ISD Technology Grants help us continue delivering the latest technology and focusing on preparing our students to be successful 21st century adults in a global economy. Our health and safety initiatives help keep our students safe and in school so learning can occur.
Let’s all use the “test” for what it is, it provides a baseline for continued improvement toward our district goals of providing a 21st century education! It is not the “end all” but “just one small piece” of a great education. GO JACKS!!!!