Going beyond apples and oranges

This article was posted on Facebook and I thought I would respond here rather than there just to see who’s reading my blog these days. 🙂

Denver Innovation Schools Show Mixed Results – Here is the quote from this article that I am responding to: “… the number of students performing at grade level was lower than the state average.”  The article does give some explanation for these findings, but my issue is different.

Using the current testing approach, I’m going to measure the juiciness of this orange based on my favorite oatmeal recipe.  If we’re going to change the culture of education and even the purpose of school, then we have to change how we measure the success of students.

Were innovative school students above grade level in skills such as collaboration, idea creation, implementation, problem solving, etc.?  We don’t know because we do not assess those skills.  Isn’t it time to stop using instruments that measure how we prepare our students for industry and start measuring how we are preparing our students to be creative entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and flexible learners?

As you can tell, this really irks me.


(
Trei Brundrett, 2005)

What other industry is scrutinized so harshly by people who know nothing about it?  That’s another discussion.

Vicki Davis’ post from 2011 hits the issue right between the eyes … take a look at her insights: Standardized Testing: The Modern Bloodletting?

What do you think?  What can be done?  How can we help make the change?

Please share your thoughts.

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2 thoughts on “Going beyond apples and oranges

  1. Cheri – I don’t know if we can change how we measure “success” of students. It still bothers me that we hear about percentiles so much because that is a lose-lose. 100% of the people won’t be happy until 100% of the kids are at the 100th percentile and the odds of that happening are nil. As long as you’re keeping score there are always winners and losers and people debating the refs. But, you can change the game and I think how we’re testing, how often we’re testing and making sure that tests are aligned with local curriculum WITHOUT spending a fortune on it are all part of the equation. Thanks for a great post, Cheri.

    • Thanks for weighing in, Vicki. I think you’re absolutely right. We have to be able to provide opportunities for authentic assessment that will enable educators to intervene as necessary.

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