As college students finish up their first semester, it’s not just time to take a break, it’s also time to look at grades and study how well their college career is going. But it’s not just an individual assessment — it’s also an assessment of how well their K-12 schooling prepared them to compete in the world beyond high school.
According to Madison School Board member Ed Hughes, information from students is one of the most important ways to test how effective schools or school districts are serving their communities.
“Probably the best single source of information about how well we’re doing comes from students themselves, and how well-prepared they feel when they go out into the world,” says Hughes, a board member since 2008 as well as an attorney and a parent.
Earlier this year, Hughes — who has a daughter who is a senior at East High School and a son in college — did an informal survey of students who had graduated from the Madison Metropolitan School District and were now either in college, graduate school or the work force. The 143 respondents ranged from the graduating classes of 1999 through 2008; most had graduated from Madison schools within the last five years.