Word of Mind, Word of Mouth: Independent validation of district’s performance

April 19, 2012 

“The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” — Pema Chodron

While it’s obviously healthy and hopeful you would have your ideals, to stubbornly cement your feet into them and never reconsider, readjust or reevaluate, is counterproductive. Well, I’d like to bring you a new truth (in case you missed it last week). From a completely unsolicited, unbiased source, our school district has been tapped as a resource for successful schools:

“Coast Unified School District has been identified as a High Performing District — one of seven named in the state of California. The California Department of Education (CDE) and the County Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) are currently working with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) as a partner in the California Comprehensive Center (CA CC) at WestEd to conduct a project to identify and profile districts that are performing substantially higher than statistically predicted overall and for the vast majority of individual schools and sub-populations. Coast Unified School District has been identified as a high performing district.

“What does this mean? It means our district test scores have outperformed expected scores of the past 4 years. Our achievement scores have accelerated in the past 2 years and we have made significant strides in closing the achievement gap. This study aims to identify how we and the six other school districts in the state are working to close the gap.” (http://www.coastusd.org/index.php/archives/3912)

Does this mean we’re doing well in our schools? Uh, yes. Does it mean we still have work to do? That goes without saying; no one would ever be presumptuous enough to say otherwise. Never have, never will. But, it does mean that whatever we are doing in our schools is working.

As Cambrian citizens, you can be proud of our students, proud of our teachers, proud of our administrators and our support staff. You can be proud of all the community support that buoys our program offerings. It reflects the efforts made behind the scenes, in front of the classroom and on the street. Risking the heat, teamwork, and (God help me for using the term) thinking outside the box have been key, in my eye.

It is so easy to get caught up in our need for control and in our self-inflicted dramas. How often do we stumble in that pothole created by our lack of honesty with ourselves and others? What do we really want? What do we really need? In my case, it’s the BEST for our children. And by golly, we’re doing our best to give it to them here and it shows.

Search Institute (www.search-institute.com) studied the lives of millions of youth across the economic and cultural spectrum of the U.S. to find out why and how they succeeded in life. Despite the odds of poverty, racism and all other manner of potential detriment to their well-being, these kids thrived due to what has been labeled as Developmental Assets. They proved that by focusing on these positive types of attributes, ALL children would do well. Whether you are a successful business manager, an effective parent or even a Peace Leader at the grammar school, we know what the power of positive thinking and action can do. It’s showing in our student achievement levels and in the recognition of this by others. I’m proud of this fact and look forward to continuing to make strides forward in the education of our youth.

Email Lady Tie Di, aka Dianne Brooke, a member of the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees, at tiedi@att .net, or visit her website at www.ladytie di.com.

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