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The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.
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IN EDUCATION, ARE WE MEASURING THE WRONG THING?

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

– Is there too much emphasis on metrics?

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The country’s approach to education is once again under scrutiny, thanks in large part to two recent Gallup polls; one aimed at analyzing political perspective, and another analyzing the effect of education on our youth.

In the first poll, “U.S. Education Ratings Show Record Political Polarization” (Aug 17, 2016), Gallup found satisfaction with public education (K-12) was based on political perspective. Whereas Democrats were generally satisfied (53%), Republicans were not, dropping to a low of 32%. The contrast between the two is sharp but hard to explain.

Some believe the reason is the general Republican refutation of Common Core, a national program to establish standards to evaluate student performance. New techniques for teaching math, science, and history are not being warmly received by the GOP who would rather see local School Boards have more control over curriculum and standards.

The other poll, “Bringing Education Back to Its Roots” (Aug 17, 2016) questions how we evaluate student performance, that we are becoming too obsessed with numbers, and not with the student’s ability to think and be creative.

The poll claims we know how to stuff facts, figures and content into the student, but not how to pull it back out in order to solve problems. To illustrate, they discuss the use of common quizzes and tests as used in the classroom, the push to satisfy state testing requirements, as well as the other formal tests used for college application, e.g., PSAT, ACT, SAT, etc. Such tests denote the student’s ability to memorize, but not how to apply it in real life situations.

In an accompanying video, Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development at Gallup, questioned the excessive use of metrics in his keynote address at the Education Commission of the States’ 2016 National Forum on Education Policy, last June. He claimed our obsession on metrics only addresses one part of education, namely input, but we should also be concerned with output, for that is what we are called on to use in business. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more.

We should be less consumed with our obsession on testing, and more concerned with its application in life.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  AMERICANS DO NOT TRUST THE PRESS – And their popularity is dropping below that of Congress.

LAST TIME:  THE POLITICAL FINANCIERS  – Who really funds our electoral process? No, really?

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Tim is a writer and management consultant located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

4 comments to IN EDUCATION, ARE WE MEASURING THE WRONG THING?

  • Tim,

    This is a fantastic article and the subject was well overdue. The points you bring out about what we are measuring in our education system was on target. Students learn at different levels and have different capabilities. It should be about addressing individual needs which is better addressed at the local level not by the federal government.

    Keep up the great work.

  • Dennis –

    Many thanks. I agree that we should not negate the authority of the local level. This is why I’m not a fan of Common Core.

    All the Best,
    Tim

  • Yes exactly, education system need to change

  • Tim,

    I am in full agreement in objecting to Common Core and getting local control (which is actually in conformance with the Constitution) back in the schools. However, I’d still advocate for the students having a foundation of facts (learning the multiplication tables, learning to write cursive, learning some “factual” history) upon which to then attack practical problems. Otherwise, the little scamps will simply be steered by “emotion,” usually into a cultural ditch. 🙁

    Good, thought-provoking article.

    Mark

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