Educating the whole child is important to our Bay Village community
The Observer is pleased to introduce a new column, written by Bay Schools Superintendent Clint Keener. The series of articles will center on the challenges and possibilities of education today in our public schools.
It has been more than two decades since public schools in Ohio began using state tests to measure learning in core subjects like reading, math and science, comparing not just an individual student’s learning from year to year, but comparing schools and school districts to one another.
As the saying goes, “What gets measured, gets done.” School boards, administrators, parents and community members pay attention when state test scores annually sort out school districts and communities. Real estate studies have directly linked published test scores to property values. It is not surprising that in some school districts, scarce resources might be taken away from those areas not measured and reported by state achievement tests.
But Bay Village residents, like many of our neighbors, place a high value on music, art, foreign language, physical education and many other offerings that address the learning and development of our students, yet are not quantified by state tests.
Our community takes great pride in being named to the Best Music Education Community in America list since 2003 for our K-12 music program. We celebrate our student artists as they annually win accolades in local, regional and national art competitions. We are especially proud as our students reach major goals for fundraising and other help for those in need through service at every grade level. And turnout for our athletic events is a strong and important indicator of support for the lessons in character, discipline and school pride that students derive from these competitions.
Add technology, safety, leadership and practical life skills – our schools provide students far more in instruction and experiences than state report cards measure. Our recent community survey indicates that while our residents first and foremost expect us to provide a strong foundation in math, language arts, science and social studies, they don’t relate that to specific preparation for scoring high on standardized state tests. And they clearly value our non-core offerings, as well.
What these results tell me as superintendent is that educating the whole child is a priority for our residents. We will, of course, make learning core subjects a top priority, and we will use the ever-evolving state testing program as an important diagnostic tool to help individual students succeed and to continue improving our instruction and curriculum. However, our overriding goal will be to make each student’s K-12 experience one of preparation for life in every area, to keep every door to opportunity open as long as possible, and to encourage a love of learning and exploration that will last a lifetime.
Results of a recent community survey by the Bay Village City Schools are available at www.bayvillageschools.com.
Clint Keener has been superintendent of the Bay Village City School District for the past 16 years. Prior to that he served as superintendent of the Cardinal Local School District and has worked as a high school principal, athletic director, coach and science teacher. He and his wife, Donna, reside in Bay Village.