Thursday, May 14, 2009

The opportunity for Print to reinvent education in the States. It's not one size fits all textbooks.

from Education Week
Quality of Evaluations Draws New Attention As Stimulus Aid Flows:
"The nation’s oft-criticized systems for evaluating the quality of its educator workforce are poised to receive increased scrutiny, thanks to an Obama administration plan to require school districts to disclose how many teachers perform well or poorly."
To fix education it has to be managed. To manage it has to be measured. All the research shows that the most important thing to measure is the process of classroom conversations and interactions. The only way to measure a process is by making it visible.

Print is the best way to stop a communication process long enough to look at it. Education is fundamentally a thoughtful conversation.

One of many possible examples
1. Each student receives a 24 page print product on unit X.
2. Each student uses a pencil to point to words and paragraphs that are interesting or they don't understand.
3. Each student is asked to use the wide margins to clearly write their thoughts and questions.

Once a week the teacher collects the Print product to see what students have done and what they are thinking.

At the end of the semester, the collection of Print products are a pretty good measure of how well the teacher is doing the job their paid to do.

As appropriate, the process is replicated in a wiki. The contents of the wiki are edited, refined, and published as a print product. A publishing party ensues at the end of the unit. The print product is the basis of next semester's class, instead of those bulky out of date textbooks.
from Education Week,
How Do We Know What Kids Know? A Critique of Test-Based Accountability
. . . These and other assumptions are proving problematic, but the heart of the problem may be our collective unwillingness to address the question of how we accurately and confidently assess children’s knowledge. . . . For if we take seriously the problems evident in a test-based accountability system, then we have to recognize that the results may give us a false read. Test scores may provide an easy accounting system, but one without much in the way of genuine accountability.

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