Mentor Schools Superintendent Discusses District's Grade

Jacqueline Hoynes says while she is satisfied with the district's performance, there is a danger in overemphasizing standardized test scores

Jacqueline Hoynes, the superintendent of Mentor Schools, is satisfied with the .

The district was ranked excellent for the sixth consecutive year.

"I was pleased with the results," she said. "We met adequate yearly progress in every category. Our performance index score went up. Every category we met and exceeded."

She attributed the district's continued success to what she calls "the culture of a professional learning community."

Every week her teachers meet by either grade or discipline to compare teaching strategies, she said. They make suggestions to each other based on how well students learn certain topics in each class.

"For example, one will say to another, 'Your class did really well in measurement. What did you do?'" Hoynes said. "It's data-driven instruction."

"This was not an accident that we did well and I think we'll continue to do well in the future," she said.

While Hoynes is pleased with her district's overall performance, she noted that ODE report cards – which base their rankings on standardized test scores, graduation and attendance rates, as well as other factors – are not necessarily the best way to judge a school or district's effectiveness.

When asked if people can overrate the importance of slight changes in test scores, she answered, "I think it's dangerous to compare test scores at all. We try to look at each individual child and see if they've grown from the year before."

Similarly, Hoynes said it's better to assess individual schools by how much they have accomplished in a year as opposed to standardized test scores.

For example, she said she is proud of  even though it was ranked effective while the 

"They are making tremendous progress," Hoynes said of Lake Elementary. "I think it's just a matter of time until they're excellent."

Hoynes said she expects growth from not just Lake, but from the entire district.

"We're going to keep seeing steady growth," she said


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