Despite all the fancy graphics and solid-looking numbers, the state isn't providing the one thing that would really tell us how students are doing: Scores that show whether particular students who remain in one district are improving from year to year.
That's the real test, after all, of education.
Bristol is trying pretty hard to come up with just those sorts of numbers, in part because officials are convinced that by tracking individual students they can prove the schools are doing well by those students who stick around.
What we've seen so far seems to show that they are doing just that.
But the state as a whole ought to be able to provide a far more comprehensive look at test results when it finally gets around to tracking each student, wherever he or she goes.
It would help policy makers and others to know, for instance, whether students who stay in the same home all the way through school do better than those who move frequently (something we know must be true, but can you prove it?).
Is all-day kindergarten worth it? The test results for students years later ought to show it one way or another.
Anyway, there's a ton of stuff we could learn, but can't, because the numbers are too broad. Let's hope that gets fixed soon.
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