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From the Commissioner

Matthew L. Blomstedt

MattLBlomstedt

Commissioner Blomstedt

AQuESTT is Working, Generating Conversations Statewide About Continuous School Improvement

February 4, 2016

The AQuESTT results are out. You know how your school and district were classified. Now the real work begins.

Today I want to weigh in on the conversations that are taking place statewide in our schools about AQuESTT, discussions about what the classifications really mean and how this new, next-generation accountability system ― Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow ― informs continuous improvement.

The overarching goal is: Support and rewards for every student, school and educator.

AQuESTT has given all of us ― educators statewide ― a framework for our conversations about continuous school improvement.

One of AQuESTT’s strengths is the conversation that has begun in our schools, at the state level among policy makers and, most importantly, the conversation among teachers who are the heart of student learning ― teachers who have an educated eye to recognize what works well in the classroom and how to build on it.

As an engaged teacher, you already know how your school was classified, your district’s classification and what those classification’s mean in the terms of the strengths and breadth of the initiatives your school has in place.

You also are talking now about how to build on those initiatives and identifying new ones to improve learning of every student every day.

Your school and district profiles, which were based on data from the final classification and the Evidence-Based Analysis, were designed to be diagnostic and to support your continuous improvement work.

But, whether your school or district received a classification of great, good, needs improvement or the highest classification of excellent, we all can always get better, find new and better ways to connect with students, expand learning opportunities for children, build stronger relationships with parents and the community, better help students transition between grades, use test results more effectively to inform instruction and help all students set goals at all grade levels so they graduate college and career ready.

AQuESTT recognizes that teachers are key to continuous school improvement.

Teachers are key to improving classroom instruction, key to building those critical connections and relationships with students and their families, key to also building community support for their schools.

As Commissioner, I applaud your dedication and your work on behalf of all Nebraska students.

Thank you. I encourage you to call Nebraska Department of Education staff or me if you need assistance or guidance as you move forward in your key role in continuous school improvement.