What does student success look like?
As educators and parents recognize, there are many factors that influence student success. For Accelerate Great Schools' investments, we will focus on three indicators of student success that are demonstrated repeatedly in high-performing schools across the nation.
Student success looks like:
- Access to a high-quality school
- Academic growth and performance year upon year
- Confident, optimistic and connected students
Access to an excellent school
When we look across the nation at what contributes to student success, having access to an excellent school becomes our first indicator, because without that access, student success is difficult, and often impossible, to achieve. Cincinnati needs access to more excellent schools for more students.
Academic growth and performance year upon year
Once a student has access to an excellent school, academic performance, as measured by standardized tests, becomes the next critical indicator of student success. Although there are many differing opinions on the types, methods and frequency for testing, there is general consensus that test scores are one of the most critical indicators of student success. Test scores are used as predictive indicators of a student’s future academic and life prospects.
High performance will be achieved when all students in the school, regardless of where they began, perform at or above grade level year upon year. But test scores are an imperfect measure limited to how a student performs on the day he or she takes the standardized test rather than looking at the growth and performance of the whole person over time.
We will measure growth over time in addition to academic performance. Growth is important because students are not all starting from the same place. If a student begins the school year behind academically, looking at growth, not just performance, will be just as critical because the student will first need to make up ground just to get to the starting line.
Confident, optimistic and connected students
We define student success by more than performance on standardized tests. National and local examples demonstrate that student success is also dependent on other aspects of the school environment, including safety and security for students, parent and student satisfaction, whether or not the school is a nurturing environment, whether or not the school serves all students well no matter the learning ability or challenge, no matter the economic context of the student population, and other critical student supports. When taken together, these result in a robust set of different metrics. When addressed in a high-quality school, the results are confident, optimistic and connected students.