Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Communication, Not Rhetoric

I appreciate the efficient communication of information... communication, not rhetoric...especially when it comes to education. I'm a teacher. It makes sense.

If you feel the same way, perhaps you'll venture around BlogLand to read and think about the following:

~ Jim Horn, Schools Matter, in Why Doesn't This Feel Liberating, quotes Art Costa (professor from CalState) regarding the end result of No Child Left Behind:
"What was once educationally significant, but difficult to measure, has been replaced by what is insignificant and easy to measure. So now we test how well we have taught what we do not value."

~ Doug Noon, Borderland, What We Measure. Doug's a scary-smart teacher (the perfect reason to like him) who knows just the right quote to include from Robert F. Kennedy:
And this is one of the great tasks of leadership for us, as individuals and citizens this year. But even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction - purpose and dignity - that afflicts us all. Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

~ Figures don't lie, but liars sure can figure. Read more about Campbell's Law, the phenomenon that, as far as students and testing are concerned, explains how "scores always rise when you put high stakes on a particular test, whether or not students actually know more." (emphasis mine) Jim Horn, Schools Matter, Remember the Achievement Gap?


Happy Inauguration Day America, Mr. President.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Thanks for the comment! I have not found a job yet, but I am definitely searching and applying! I am *hoping* to be employed by the coming school year!

    And thanks for the advice about labeling everything!! I am definitely following it!

    Hope all is well and you are enjoying a nice, short four-day week! :)


As always, thank you for your comments, tips, suggestions and questions!