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June 17-24, 2004
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The Superintdent's Corner
By Superintendt Dave Casey
Education YES! REPORT CARD

Q.What is the Education YES! Report Card?
A. Last Friday, January 30, the Michigan Department of Education released information concerning all of the public schools in this state. Each school received a letter grade.Those grades might be an A, B, C, D/Alert or F. This is the state's new way to gauge how well schools are doing. While it's not the only way to measure a school's success, it is the newest way in Michigan.

Q. Why do we have it?
A. Education YES! is required by state law and was created, in part, to be Michigan's answer to the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act that requires each state to have an approved accountability system. Developed by Michigan experts, the Education YES! system was recently approved by the federal government, so that eligible Michigan schools can receive federal funding for children in need of extra help and schools in need of improvement can be identified.

Q. How often will the schools be graded?
A.The Education YES! grades will be given once every school year. The single letter grade will be computed using students' scores on Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) tests, a comparison of those MEAP scores over time, and some other factors like parent involvement in schools.

Q. What does it measure?
A. The Report Card's single letter grade is a shorthand way to show how our schools are doing. Just as a child's report card is an accounting of how he or she did on tests and assignments throughout the year, Education YES! is an accounting of how students in specific grades did on selected tests at a given time during a school year.But a school (like a student) is much more than a letter grade. A student's report card is just one way we assess his or her progress. Likewise, the Education YES! Report Card is just one way we assess each school's progress.

Q. What doesn't it measure?
A. The Report Card doesn't tell about the hundreds of success stories that happen every day within the school walls. It misses the thousands of exciting learning moments each day when "the light goes on" for a student and he finally understands fractions or when she "sees" how the human heart works or when he plays a perfect trumpet solo or when she gives a convincing performance in the school play. It cannot measure the valuable lessons learned each day that don't fall under the statewide pre-determined test items. In other words, just like it's impossible to know a child's whole nature by a single grade, it's impossible to judge a school's whole essence by a single grade. That's why we will continue to report our progress in many different ways.

Q. How else are we accountable to you?
A.We believe that you are entitled to know the entire story about how our schools are doing. That's why we report on them regularly through our annual reports, school newsletters and school website. And, that's what we will continue to do, even after the Education YES! Report Cards are issued.

Q. How can you get more information about how our schools are doing?
A.
1.Call the superintendent's office
2.Call your building principal
3.Come to Parent-Teacher conferences
4.Contact your child's teacher
5. Visit our website at www.remc11.k12.mi.us/buchanan/
6. Read our annual report
7. Come in for a tour
8. Read your school's newsletter
9. Talk to a recent graduate

Q. How can you help us do better?
A. We're always working to improve achievement for our students. And, we can do even better with your help. Please join us in our continuing efforts to be the best schools we can be. Contact your building principal for more information on how you can help.

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