1) More data is not necessarily a good thing.
- Useful data is given to teachers about their students in a time frame that allows them to do something with it to help students learn.
- Navel-gazing about SOL data from last year is not very much help in a school with a 25 percent student mobility rate and the fact that the 75 percent of the student who actually stay change so much in 6 months the data is almost useless.
- Useful data comes to the teachers during the window the stuff is still being taught, and the data should reflect what the kid is supposed to know, and should be delivered in a manner that doesn’t take a lot of effort to analyze.
Here’s an email I sent the staff today …. activating “Little Brother” the most disturbing of all dystopian visions…
By calling it a Teacher Work Day, they diminish the rest of our work the rest of the year. Are those other days “Teacher Not Working Days?”
Perhaps they should call them “Professional Development” Days.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
—Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 – 1860)
In a meeting today, a group of elementary and high school teachers were asked to list the attributes we looked for in student who were thinking about their learning.
A list of 16 items came up on the board and the one thing lacking was “creativity.”
We discussed why.
“Creativity is not valued by our society,” said one high school teacher.
The elementary school teachers were shocked it was a subject for discussion. Frankly, everything in elementary school is fueled by creativity and fun. In K-5 we can’t demand students do their work. Yelling at a student to finish a worksheet only ends in tears and a meeting with the parent.
Apparently, one can give a boring assignment to middle school and high school students and simply demand they do it and threaten punishment (letter home, referral to principals office) if they don’t comply. “This works?” I’m thinking.
Apparently, in high school, creativity is reserved for GT, International Baccalaureate and other high-end endeavors.