Growth models provide students and educators with a more comprehensive perspective on their achievement levels. If we arm our children and their teachers with a better understanding of what is and is not working, we will have a clearer understanding of how to move forward and raise the level of education in this country. A one-size-fits-all approach to education does not meet the diverse needs of local communities, and that is why a one-size-fits-all testing program has not been entirely successful in addressing the needs of our students.

The decision by the U.S. Department of Education to invite all 50 states and the territory of Puerto Rico to participate in the growth model pilot program will be a positive step in working to reform No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Many state and local educators are concerned that the single evaluation testing put in place with NCLB has failed to properly assess how our students are learning and where their strengths and weaknesses exist.

This expansion of the growth model pilot program will give states the choice to discover if a growth model is beneficial to tracking academic achievement. As a staunch believer in maintaining state and local control over education decisions, I see this as an opportunity for local leaders to continue making these local decisions