Nebraska's Department of Education Trying a New System

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The Nebraska Department of Education says it’s changing up its game. At the administrator’s conference in Kearney on Wednesday, the education commissioner displayed their new plan.

The new focus is on education as a whole and not just test scores. It’s called AQuESTT system. It looks at transitioning to higher education, academic opportunities, getting ready for college, test scores and evaluating teachers.

A thousand educators in Kearney listened to several presentations. The assistant principal at Adams Middle School, Dan Helberg says he's happy with AQuESTT, because you can’t always rely on test scores.

“They are impacted by what the student had for breakfast, what’s going on at home. So often you don't get students at their best; sometimes relying on just test scores is unreliable,” Helberg said.

The system is supposed to help track how much students are improving. Teachers in the Lexington school system say this will allow the district to improve.

“The AQuESTT system allows us to show a better picture of our student population as well as their growth over the course of a year,” Nikki Edeal said.

A point was made for schools to continue to reach out to parents and develop relationships with them. It also was said schools should help seniors develop a path towards their dream job.

One priority for educators is for each student to have a smooth transition when they move up to the next school level.

“It's often where we start to lose students or lose track where there progress is and maintain that smooth path for the students and make sure they are engaged throughout the whole process,” Commissioner of Education Matt Blomstedt said.

The Department of the Education will also look at developing framework for principals and teachers in the state to make sure they are leading students in the right direction.

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