Planet Mom Radio

02 Parents and Data: Time to embrace the ‘D’ word. We can help.

On this episode of Planet Mom Radio, after getting through some bake sale banter, Keri and I discuss the D word. Data. We know it can be confusing, frustrating, and even seem like someone else’s problem. But we also know that it’s super important that parents understand their children’s schools by the numbers. At least some of the most important numbers.

It’s our hope that our conversation about school data will help with the some of the confusion—like that whole growth v proficiency thing, right? As parents and as members of communities, identifying underperforming schools and patterns of grade inflation is the first step toward making sure that when school officials tell us our kids are prepared for the future, it’s actually true. Far to often, parents and students find out too late that it was a BIG FAT LIE.

In addition to tackling the whole growth versus proficiency thing, we also discuss the unique importance of 3rd grade reading scores, as well as what we can to do to put pressure on elected officials.

If you enjoy this episode—and we know you will!— please consider leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. That is the best way to help spread the word as we launch our show!

My Matthew delivering 10 turkeys to the homeless in Providence.
Miles’ rainbow turkey.

And lastly, we want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. I have included some pretty special Thanksgiving photos (including the beautiful work of turkey art by Keri’s middle son, Miles) as well as one of my middle son, Matthew, delivering turkeys to the Providence Rescue Mission after basketball. (They won the tourney!) I also had to include one of a beaming Keri with former Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, since he gets a mention in the episode—and because we love him and appreciate the work he continues to do to serve young men for whom school didn’t work.

Think Keri is happy in this pic with Arne Duncan?

Episode Details:

  • Erika and Keri discuss how they tackle the infamous school bake sale 1:39
  • Why school data can be confusing and hard to access 4:04
  • Why it’s important to look at data in order to make sure your kids aren’t in danger of not making it through high school, or going into the school to prison pipeline 5:23
  • Talking about the belief gap: growth vs. proficiency and why it’s dangerous 10:10
  • Why we should label performing or underperforming schools in order to identify problems and take action 15:37
  • What parents need to pay attention to if their kids attend an underperforming school 20:09
  • Why 3rd grade reading scores predict whether kids will finish high school or end up incarcerated 21:52
  • Why incarceration rates due to low education standards affect everyone in the community 25:28
  • How much time you have to course correct if your kids aren’t at the right reading level in 3rd grade 26:23
  • How we need to put pressure on elected officials in order to fix problems in our schools 31:10

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