Dublin Villager

From the Superintendent's Desk

Rankings only tell a little about quality education

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Recently, our district received exciting news; all three Dublin high schools received top ratings in Ohio by U.S. News and World Report magazine.

We are extremely proud of this honor and we can directly attribute it to the hard work and support of our teachers, families and community.

While there's no doubt this is great news, it also serves another important purpose. It gives us the opportunity to discuss a more well-rounded approach to rating and ranking public school districts.

The methodologies used by these publications to rate and rank districts are prescriptive and capture only a small portion of what Dublin City Schools offer students.

The same is true for the state of Ohio's Local Report Card. The set of measuring sticks, traditionally used to rate and rank school districts, are not reflective of how a well-rounded education should look in the 21st century.

Dublin City Schools has been a data driven organization for a long period of time.

Much of this emphasis is in response to the seemingly never-ending state requirements when it comes to assessing students.

Our focus on data is a genuine desire to use this data to inform instruction. How can we help our students learn if we don't know what they know and how they know it?

Data definitely has a permanent place in our work, however, what defines an excellent education in Dublin City Schools is far more than data and test scores.

The quality of instruction our students receive is the single most important aspect of our ability to provide a world-class education.

If we are able to provide foundational, world-class instruction, our students will rapidly grow from an academic standpoint.

One example is the new K-5 literacy and numeracy programs we are implementing in our elementary schools.

Without adding positions, we will have K-5 literacy and numeracy coaches in our elementary schools beginning next school year.

By reallocating current resources, these coaches will help ensure all students are receiving world-class instruction in literacy and numeracy. There are all kinds of simple assessments teachers use on a daily basis to make sure their students are progressing and meeting expectations on an individual basis.

In addition, we know that employers and colleges are placing more emphasis on many different skills in order for students to be successful.

They must learn to enhance their critical thinking, communication skills, collaborative work, global awareness, financial literacy and information literacy as a part of their overall development.

Dublin City Schools provide students with many opportunities to meet these needs in order to prepare our kids for career, college and life.

A well-rounded education would not be complete without opportunities for students to excel beyond the traditional classroom.

In Dublin, we offer some of Ohio's best extracurricular activities. Our art programs, music programs, and athletic programs stack up against any in Ohio in terms of both opportunity and quality.

As I near the completion of my first year as Dublin City Schools Superintendent, it's been a pleasure meeting with members of this wonderful community.

I have enjoyed my many Superintendent Coffees where discussion has repeatedly occurred on what we can all do to ensure Dublin City Schools remains exceptional.

As I've gathered feedback from community members, it's clear to me education of the whole-child is something we value as an organization, and as a community.

We must continue to foster that vision on an ongoing basis.

I look forward to more discussions with you about our collective effort to develop shared visions, values, and goals, and discover new ways to ensure student success.

Dublin City School District Superintendent Todd Hoadley, Ph.D., submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.

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