Monday, December 20, 2010

Twitter Book Club: @alfiekohn The Schools Our Children Deserve (1999) - Ch 4

Getting Evaluation Wrong:
The Case Against Standardized Testing

"[Standardized tests] are not an inevitable part of 'life' or even a necessary part of school; they are a relativel... than a minute ago via Twittelator

"In s broad sense, it is easier to measure efficiency than effectiveness, easier to rate how well we are doing than... than a minute ago via Twittelator

"The process of assigning children to percentiles helps to ensure that schooling is more about triumphing over ever... than a minute ago via Twittelator

What if our society made a shift from seeing education as being about a Race to the Top and instead focused on just getting everyone across the finish line? Seems like a much more healthy proposition to say we are going to focus on helping everyone achieve their goals than mandating they run in a race. This makes me think about the current trend with marathons. When I was young I never remember anyone saying they were going to go walk in a marathon. Usually the only people who participated were serious runners. Today, though, it is common to see the vast majority of those participating in these races as walkers who consider it an accomplishment just to finish. Sure, serious runners will get there first and receive their awards if they come in first place, but one might say they missed something in the experience of the journey that the walkers experience by not taking the time to take in and appreciate the path. It's just like the old saying about life being about the journey, not the destination. I believe this is true of learning too. Learning is journey and not a destination. Perhaps we can convince people to walk that path. But, unfortunately, we don't try to convince them to do this, we mandate it. Arg....

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