The Loss of a Child

On Saturday night, I received news that one of our students was killed in a tragic car accident.  Our community is devastated, the staff is beginning to grieve, and our students will need the full weight of our district’s crisis management team.   Our school is stunned.  A child who we’ve known for seven years has been lost.

On Thursday we will box up our AIMS scores and send them to the state.  Her test will be included. And, in my opinion, it’s an empty and hollow representation of all that she was.

She was bright, complex, caring, and fun-loving.  She had friends, relationships, and a family that loved her.

She grew, she learned, and she blossomed as both a student and a person.

She was everything the data the cardboard box addressed to the testing center cannot describe.  She was the girl in the picture found in her permanent folder.  The smiling face.  The eager learner described in painstaking detail by her teacher on the back of her first grade report card.

She was not a number.  She was not just part of a category.  She was far more than the legacy that a single test can represent.  Our hearts are broken for her family and the loss of a beautiful child.

And, for once, I could personally care less what that test tells us.


Mike Lee

Mike Lee

Phoenix, Arizona

I am the Director of Outreach and Engagement for The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and certified as a Middle Childhood Generalist in 2004. In 2012, I received my doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, however, I began my work in education serving as a para-educator in a special education program while still an undergraduate. My passions in the field include assessment and reporting strategies, the evolving role of technology, teacher leadership, and effective professional development that permanently impacts instruction. I consider myself a professional teacher first, as well as a professionally evolving lifelong learner, who is incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to impact the lives of children.

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