In one of the states that I work in, the state accountability system disaggregates schools into peer groups of about 40.  Then it gives “Gold Stars” to the schools that do well (comparatively) within their assigned group.

I won’t argue if this is a good or bad thing, it’s just a thing. 

However, there are schools that are in underperforming peer groups that are earning gold stars for leading their group.  Essentially, what this means is that in a group of “D” schools, these are the schools earning the “High D.”

For the schools that use these gold stars as motivation to keep improving, then there is no problem.  But many of these schools view these D (and C and B) Group Gold Stars as proof that they have arrived. Progress… Yes.  Arrived… No.

The problem for these “we have arrived” schools is that they create a self-delusional trap. As I heard a local sportscaster explain to a caller, “Being the best hitter in Double A baseball is a long way from being a Major League All-Star. That is a stepping stone, not a career accomplishment.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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