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Focus on Inputs Rather than Outcomes

Halcro, attending by teleconference as a representative of the business community, said the panel was misplacing its concern when the results of testing showed some students and their schools were below standards. Rather than focus on “outcomes,” he said, the Legislature needed to attend to “inputs” — the causes of below-average performance, such as missing parental involvement, lack of proficiency in English and transiency. 

“When you look at reading scores for third grade, you see that 18.5 percent are below proficient in 2014,” Halcro said. “That doesn’t tell me anything. It tells me what the output is, but I don’t know what the input is. Who are these kids that are showing up? Are they ready to learn? … This is the problem with education. Everybody wants to point to the outcomes, but nobody wants to take the time to say, who and in what kind of condition are these students showing up for school?”

It is very encouraging to see someone in the business community recognizing the importance of inputs, rather than just outcomes. If kids are not ready, the next step is, "What are we doing to overcome this problem?"