My visit at Lincoln today had multiple facets. Mr. Kline explained how they use student data to help every student achieve. As a parent and a public education advocate, getting kids to pass a test has always been concerning to me. I often hear about the “bubble” kids – those kids who “almost” pass. Those are the students who seem to get the most attention because they are almost there…almost passing. But what about those kids at the high and low ends? Are they being ignored because they will never pass? Are they getting the extra motivation that high achievers need? Mr. Kline’s approach to data focuses directly on these kids…those at either end. This is the first time I have heard of the student data being used in such a way. I was reassured that those who are sometimes forgotten will be challenged and nurtured to assure their success.
At the other end of the spectrum, I heard a life lesson. Addressing a group of 5th grade students, I believe the point Mr. Kline wanted to make with them is my favorite Maya Angelou quote, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” He gave his own personal example of fights with his siblings. He doesn’t remember the bruises and cuts he received, but he remembers the unkind words. Because of the relationships Mr. Kline has obviously built with his students, I think his talk will make them think. I am sure they will think twice before they use hurtful words with their classmates. And I’m sure they will remember Mr. Kline for caring enough to take the time to speak with them that day and every day, calling each one by name.