Settling for Scores
Why are schools still judged by the results of standardized tests?
The link above takes you to a review of a book, “The Testing Charade: Pretending To Make Schools Better,” by Daniel Koretz written by Diane Ravitch in The New Republic. I found this worth reading and it reminded me of the testing frenzy that existed when I taught in K-12 in Virginia between 2004 and 2009.
This quote, near the end of the article is what spoke to me:
Education is a developmental process, a deliberate cultivation of knowledge and skills, a recognition of each child’s unique talents, not a race.
I found this today, in an essay by Sean Michael Morris. It’s worth the long read but the piece that really resonates for me is this:
But maybe instead we should tip large. And give A’s. Believe reasons for missing a deadline. Refuse to get to know students through the window of a rubric. We are not dealing with students, but people with dreams, people who will fail and people who will succeed, people who may end up alone and people whose high point of the day may be a conversation with us. Being kind may seem counterintuitive to the academic ethos—especially when being kind can sometimes mean being wrong—but we owe it to ourselves to think outside our setting, to see past the artificial boundaries of generation, expertise, and authority. And while we’re at it: race, gender, sexuality, religion.
Today I’ve been thinking about teaching and design. How do I design better teaching? Or is that even the best question to ask?
I can get into the theoretical and the aspects of formal instructional design if I wish. I can also look at what people want to know and learn. I can also develop interactive modules, social contexts for people to talk and share their understanding.
With this though comes the need to make a safe space where people can let themselves be vulnerable in the sharing. They need to know that their limited knowledge is ok and that we’re all in this together – this learning space.
An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t. – Anatole France