Dr. Josh Middleton

Phone: (208) 585-3027

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Dr. Josh Middleton

"Data Points"

I'm headed to surgery in the near future.

In 2005 I had surgery on my left shoulder....actually two surgeries. The first one was successful up until two months after when I slipped on some black ice outside of my local gym and instinctively reached back to break my fall with my left arm. I'm pleased to say that surgery number two was and continues to be a success. In 2010 I was having similar issues with my right shoulder and went in for an MRI. Sure enough, there were similar problems as my left. So I did what most stubborn individuals do....I ignored it while continuing to try and do what I've always done, lead an active life, exercise and "power through it." Eight years later and that strategy has come to an end. Another MRI and an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon reveal the same verdict as the one in 2010, time to clean up the right shoulder.

That's an analogy and argument for curriculum  development  and  academic  achievement. My right shoulder data points in 2010 through 2018 included obvious pain in my shoulder when in use, X-Rays indicating damage, MRI revealing bone spurs, lots of wear and tear, losing strength,  many nights not getting a good nights sleep due to  inability to get comfortable and a similar history from the left shoulder. My strategies for the last eight years? Ignore the problem, have it massaged, rest for a few days, convince myself it's "a good sore", believe any day it's going to get better. Repeat.  The harsh  reality is hope is not a strategy!

Fortunately I'm not stubborn when it comes to academics and student achievement, in fact I insist that we review our data points from multiple sources and as necessary, adjust. The continuous improvement cycle includes research, implementation, assessment, reflection, adjustment, repeat. Continuing to do the same thing over and over again and getting disappointing results is foolish. I am so proud of our students, teachers  and  administrators these past two years as we have seen improved scores on our state required ISATs given to 3rd through 8th and 10th graders, and our IRIs which is a state required reading assessment given to our primary grade students. Middleton students are scoring above the state average. Much of this is attributed to our self-selected assessments (iReady in 2-8 and MAP in HS) that provide immediate data points to our teachers so  they can adjust their instruction the next day. These coupled with our expert teachers' knowledge of and instruction to our students plus the investment into curriculum that is implemented with a systematic approach help move our students from grade to grade to successfully cross the stage at graduation with post-secondary options.

I'm proud of our district and our focus on students and student learning. We have seen improvement because we are paying attention to our data points immediately. Now it's time for me to pay attention to my data points and get that shoulder surgery scheduled.

All the best, 
Dr. Middleton