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Sat, Dec. 07

Editorial: State could learn a thing or two from HUSD

(Courier stock image)

(Courier stock image)

Humboldt Unified School District administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students have many reasons to be proud.

First: One of the schools in the quad-city area that maintained its “A” letter grade in the Arizona Department of Education’s recent report, for the 2018-19 school year, is in the HUSD.

Liberty Traditional is one of the few, in fact, that has earned an “A” from the Department of Education not only in last year’s analysis as well as this year – but, get this, for the past three years. It also is the only “A” school in the HUSD for the past two years.

Secondly: While many schools, including charters, maintained their letter grades, only three schools in the Quad Cities improved, according to the report. One of those is in the Humboldt district: Bradshaw Mountain Middle School – up from a “C” to a “B.”

Third: The district’s students scored well on the AzMerit testing, as previously reported. Superintendent Dan Streeter said scores at seven of the district’s nine schools went up, particularly as those occurred despite a high percentage of low-income students’ eligible for the federal free- and reduced-lunch programs.

“We’re celebrating. We are really proud of the work that is taking place on our campuses,” Streeter said.

That, however, is where the celebrations end.

Don’t get us wrong, Streeter is happy with the results; three schools’ letter grades even earned bonuses of sorts – Lake Valley Elementary will receive $87,000; Humboldt Elementary will receive $138,000; and Bradshaw Mountain Middle School will receive $58,000.

But these initiatives aside, the district measures achievement constantly. The district even has its own assessment system, Streeter said. “We’re a data-driven, accountability-driven district,” he told Prescott News Network.

So it is not so much a surprise. The praise is not unwelcome, but Streeter is wishing for more.

That’s right. How about a better assessment method from the state?

The state Department of Education has been grappling with assessments for years. It seems that the tests and evaluations change like the political winds do – about once every four to seven years. Remember Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)?

We would like to see the state change to testing methods and measurements for accountability that go beyond labels.

Maybe they should visit the local schools and Streeter.

Keep up the good work, HUSD and Mr. Superintendent.

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