I stumbled on Jay Greenlinger’s blog earlier today and bookmarked his blog to revisit and subscribe via Feedly.com. In his blog entry on 5 Things We Have to Stop Pretending, he writes the following:
1. Teachers should be completely in charge of student learning.
2. Technology is the answer to our problems. (Yes, I am a Tech Director)
3. Large scale testing provides us meaningful information about a student, classroom, or school.
4. We need to have an adopted curriculum in order to have a coherent curriculum.
5. Change in pedagogy and curriculum can be incremental.
I immediately had a knee-jerk reaction because I read these as assertions of what Jay supported. Then, a moment later, I realized, he meant the opposite of what was written:
- Teachers should NOT be in charge of student learning. Instead, students could be.
- Technology is NOT the answer to our problems, but probably should be a significant part of MOST solutions.
- Large scale testing does NOT provide us with meaningful information about a student, classroom, or school, but there’s no reason why meaningful, authentic assessments couldn’t do that…right?
- A quality curriculum that makes sense doesn’t have to be an adopted one.
- Changes in pedagogy and curriculum happen suddenly.
Still, if I had to pick ONE of these items, I would hope that people stop pretending that large scale testing provides us meaningful information. High stakes testing is the greatest boondoggle perpetrated on school systems.