EVSC Superintendent Dr. Vince Bertram started his first day on the job ready to get down to business. There were no packing boxes in his office. All of his supplies were put away. Even his diplomas and art work were hung neatly on the walls. On the agenda for this day: his first school board meeting. Though it was mostly uneventful, he has a full schedule planned for the next several days, meeting with every principal of every school in the district. With just six weeks left before the start of classes, Bertram says he wants to know "what things were doing well, what can we do better..." He says he wants to spend more time listening than talking so he knows he really understands the school district. From his first day as a candidate, the Ball State University and Harvard educated administrator has set his sights on closing the so called "achievement gap." He says standardized tests fall well short of being able to really address where the problems are in urban school districts. "Its an incomplete picture to look at any single data point in any organization and try to draw broad conclusions about that organization," Bertram explains. "We may have a student that doesnt improve at all but is still over a cut score versus another student that may show considerable growth over time and still be short of a cut score," Bertram said. Only the student above the cut score appears to be achieving, he explained. Bertram supports the national "No Child Left Behind" law, saying its the best way to hold schools accountable for the performance of schools. He calls it imperfect, though. What Bertram would rather see: a system that tracks each student over the length of their tenure in class, showing exactly how they perform over time. That system is known as a Growth Model, and some states have implemented it under a trial program connected with the "No Child Left Behind" law. Bertram says a Growth Model will afford more students the resources they need to succeed, and in turn could make the community stronger by producing more educated students and fewer dropouts.