LBL is thrilled to welcome Daryl Ward, principal at Harrison School for the Arts, to breakfast April 3, 2018! This event was inspired by a recent post made by Daryl, and we asked him if he’d be willing to share with us. We’re thankful he agreed! Join us as we discuss education, the community and how we might find a way forward, together!
"A few weeks ago, due to my intimate involvement with an event coordinated by the local chamber of commerce, I was able to get some quality facetime with many local business leaders. During one of these encounters, a businessman asked me the ubiquitous question: How can we (local business leaders) help support public education? I think my reply caught him a bit off guard (though, to his credit, he did seem to get my point):
One thing you all can do, I answered, was to quit talking out of both sides of your mouths. He gave me a quizzical look. I continued: You can’t bemoan a “failing public school system” – which is deemed failing largely by relying on the primary metric of standardized test results – and also claim to want workers who think creatively, solve problems, and work cooperatively; the very things standardized tests can’t measure. If you want us to teach the latter, you can’t keep complaining about the former.
I certainly won’t belie the point that educators need to be held accountable for what is being taught and learned (or not being taught and not being learned). However, at heart, I believe that we as a country really don’t know WHAT we want public education to do. And while this can be deeply philosophical at times, I do think it has strong implications for how and what we assess in our education system. Koretz’s statement above should cause us to stare directly in the face of the question: Are we assessing what we really want students to learn? And is our over-reliance on standardized assessments giving us an accurate picture of what we want our students to know and/or be able to do?"