Wrong course: we’re measuring what’s EASY to measure, not what’s ESSENTIAL to measure.

By Les Omotani, Former Superintendent and Educational Leader, Hewlett-Woodmere School District, NY and West Des Moines Schools, Iowa
October 27, 2012

Something BIG is going on across this nation. During the past few weeks, I have heard from former colleagues in Iowa, Illinois, New York and California who are strong supporters of the performing arts, physical education and technical vocational programs. It seems that the new teacher evaluation systems are requiring teachers to give students pre- and post- paper and pencil tests to measure progress. These colleagues particularly are concerned that instructional time is again being lost to implement ineffective measurement and accountability systems.

In these areas, knowledge of theory, content or historical facts are a small part of the performance skills that students learn. No one ever asked the master music clinicians who conducted the Grammy sessions for high school students to demonstrate their teaching effectiveness by giving a paper and pencil test. Scoring 100% on a photography test bears little correlation to being able to take and produce great photos! Drama students and teachers who excel spend little time on test prep and maximum time on practice and rehearsal. They learn by doing. Band, vocal music and dance instructors are best judged by having their students develop authentic portfolios that show progress over time. No one ever asked one of my former students — Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson or her instructor– to demonstrate knowledge of gymnastic theory on a paper and pencil test. We are producing technical students who can pass tests but who cannot fix a car engine or cut a piece of wood with a 45 degree angle to fit with another piece of wood to make a frame.

Innovation, creativity and complex thinking combined with technical writing skills and communication skills remain the keys to our nation’s future. What we are measuring is NOT going to lead to a bright future! And, across this country it is doing harm to students and their teachers!

The FOCUS of improvement is not upon the center of the target. We are measuring what is EASY to measure . . .not what is IMPORTANT or ESSENTIAL to measure. Educational leaders must stand up for kids and shout: “The Emperor has no clothes!”

Systems thinkers know that the water is FULL of icebergs. Our policy makers seem unable to look beyond the tip of those icebergs. . . I hope our educational leaders are on deck and plotting a course to avoid the dangers that lie beneath in these dark murky waters!

Looking for drugs online? An assortment is in fact huge. Betweentimes people are looking for remedies to resolve sexual soundness problem. Below are the elementary reasons about “http://herballife.biz/levitra-cost“. Presently many users search for the exact phrase “levitra cost” on search engines. More info about this question available at “cost of levitra“. Finally, there are definite of explanations and heartiness care professionals are ordinarily able to pinpoint your problem through psychological tests. Any remedy may cause unwanted side effects. Sometimes side effects can be actually serious. Your therapy is for you. Never give Viagra to other folk even if their state appears to be the same as yours.