It’s no secret that principals are pretty stoked when students who transfer into their schools have a history of high scores on required annual tests. School leaders feel great pressure to perform in the public eye, and having a few more kids to bump those numbers up is certainly a welcome surprise.
It’s usually light hearted and all in good fun when they say, “ooh, we’ll gladly take her,” knowing that with each academically strong test taker, their overall school profile is likely to at least hold steady and hopefully even improve. The more 4s and 5s their students get on PARCC or Smarter Balanced, the better they look to district and state leaders, as well as parents, reporters, prospective home buyers, and the community at large.
I have no problem with a school leader wanting to land a good headline for performing well in every way, including on mandated tests. Who wouldn’t want a new kid coming in who scored double 5s on PARCC last year?
But this relationship needs to be a reciprocal one in which all parties get what they need. And in far too many schools, that symbiosis is missing.
The high achieving test...