flickr CC image via timparkinson
- I'm all for improving the manner in which we assess and evaluate students... we should never, never stop doing this.
- There are undoubtedly strong arguments favouring alternatives to high-stakes, one shot win or lose forms of summative assessment.
- We must evaluate students if we are to call ourselves professionals. To do so is responsible, necessary and important professional work.
Like it or not, education can't happen for free, and as long as taxpayers are paying government to provide an education system, there will be requirements for government to be accountable to them for their investment. This is not inherently bad really, is it? In turn, why shouldn't the education system be expected to be accountable for its investment in learning? It's not whether we should be accountable for what we do in education, but rather how we'll be accountable, that we should be discussing intelligently and openly. Whether students, parents, teachers or government, we should all be targeting the same outcomes surrounding and supporting student success... why not do this collaboratively in their best interests?
Cardinal rule number one when making decisions affecting how we support kids- ask whether the decision is in their best interest to the exclusion of any other variable. If the answer is yes, you're likely on the right track, and I refuse to believe there is as agenda out there that intentionally damages kids... no matter the group, we need to default to a perspective that assumes people are doing the best they can for kids with the knowledge and experience they represent, and if that's not enough, we need to talk rationally about why, and where to go next.
Let's stop bandwagon-jumping and get talking about alternatives that have hope; alternatives that are viable enough to satisfy the testing gods on high because their effectiveness is undeniable. Let's be smarter than the problem. Let's do our homework, and instead of illuminating the problem, let's illuminate some solutions.