New white sportscar side

When a car breaks down on the side of the road, the occupants open the hood and look for problems such as loose wires, broken hoses, smoke, steam, etc. 

If nothing looks out of the ordinary, there are limited options. If one is not mechanical in nature, grabbing a rock and banging on your engine may relieve some frustration, but it will not start your engine, I guarantee it. 

There is a high probability that a computer guides your vehicle’s mechanical operations, and the only option will be to call an auto carrier and have it delivered to the dealership or a facility with electronic diagnostic tools. 

Upon arrival, the car will be connected to a machine that will declare which system is malfunctioning. Often the tool will display data codes for the technician to check against an auto manual or online directory of what the data might mean. Although the tool may state the general problem for correction, the mechanic is held responsible to work with others in the shop to find the exact remedy. Shops that fix vehicles are places where each mechanic must learn from each other, making their businesses efficient and effective at solving problems and providing solutions.

The next step for a vehicle is the road test. Once the auto hits the road, the mechanic monitors the car’s gauges and watches for abnormalities from the solution. Deer Valley Unified School District also continuously monitors our systems for optimum performance. We look for multiple data points including internal, state, and national tests, learning and participation opportunities for students, community, staff, and student surveys, staff development outcomes, individual, building, and district award accolades and recognitions, etc. Data collection and analysis guides our future steps and keeps our systems performing optimally. This process is repeated, even when the DVUSD “machine” appears to be running on all cylinders. 

Despite the COVID-19 storm engulfing the state of Arizona this past year, the good news is that DVUSD students continue to enjoy positive learning experiences at school and compete successfully in athletics, academics, and extra-curricular opportunities. 

With 24 out of 38 schools with an A rating, 92% of schools rated A or B, 21 schools with an A-Plus certification, 94.5% graduation rate, 1:1 computer to student ratio, multiple CTE offerings at all five high schools and WestMEC, 3.9 million meals served annually, etc., it’s good to know that many data points indicate a well-tuned machine. 

Even though these positive indicators are all headed in the right direction, DVUSD still will strive to improve, and data will be our guide.

If you would like to learn more about the many educational opportunities at Deer Valley Unified School District, visit If you want your child to receive the best education in the Valley, look no further than DVUSD. We are #Extraordinary!

Curtis Finch, Ph.D., can be reached at and can be followed on Twitter @DrFinchDVUSD