Opinion: Well-being surveys can support the whole child but should be only one tool in student assessment

AP File Photo/Martha Irvine / Second-grade teacher Melissa Shugg teaches a lesson at Paw Paw Elementary School about thoughts, feelings and actions in December 2021 in Paw Paw, Mich.

After reading the well-being surveys that were expected to be given to Hamilton County School students Monday, we're not sure how much concrete information will be gleaned with the answers that are received.

The topic of the surveys came up during last week's Hamilton County Board of Education meeting, with member Rhonda Thurman calling them a waste of time and Superintendent Justin Robertson saying they can be a "key" for teachers to understand their students.

Parents were allowed to opt out by going to the Hamilton County Schools website.

To be sure, if the surveys are answered truthfully by a student with a good grasp on vocabulary and a deep understanding of how outside factors can contribute to success in school or the lack thereof, they might identify barriers that would keep that student from learning, suggest a method in which that student might be assisted or denote a class trend that might suggest a change in teaching style.