1. Caroline

    Here, here! I to have found those who have struggled with learning often make the best teachers. I think it is because they have powerful memories of what works and what doesn’t and are able to apply this knowledge to help others.
    When I worked in banking before becoming a teacher, we were having to meet new account targets which totally ignored the human aspect of our customers. Not everyone wants or needs more insurance or another bank account but why was not a factor. Only the number. It disturbs me to see this same thinking in education. Learning is a people thing not a numbers thing. Yes we need some numbers to be accountable but we must never forget the people or their context.

  2. Paul McGuire

    George this should be a manifesto for a new spirit in education. What you are writing about is liberating for principals and teachers. It is a message everyone needs to hear.

  3. Great post, George–I think you hit it on the head with your point that numbers aren’t the most important, but they are the easiest to collect. Skilled educators know that the numbers are just a starting point at best and that it all, as you say, boils down to the students themselves.

  4. Brad Hilbert

    This is reality. Grades and test scores will not ensure success. Making the current testing system obsolete will put education will only be done with support of students and parents but too many are focused on the score and not what is being learned.

  5. Rosy

    Students are the core of education as well they should be. They are not numbers, data points, test scores, things to track, etc. They are people. People we are given the privilege to work with everyday, to learn about, and to help. Former students who have come back to visit do so to reminisce about the time we spent together, the laughs we had, what inspired them. Never has a test score been mentioned. When I receive those treasurered notes written secretly (I teach 5th gr so notes are always “secret”) and sincerely by students they are not to thank me for focusing on data and making them a number but rather for seeing them as an individual and treating them so. This is such a good post with so many great points about this “real life” we are preparing kids for. I most certainly hope we, all of us, do not end up in big trouble. How do we as teachers change that in a system that as you said puts us between a rock and a hard place?

  6. Amie McCaw

    Thank you George!
    We should ALWAYS start with the question– “What is best for this child?” Rarely– will test scores give us the answer to the question. Dialogue and relationships with our students should be Job # 1.

  7. Joy B

    I like the way you think, George. I think data should be a tool to help us evaluate our students that will improve the way we teach them. I think we need to focus on a more personal and hands-on education.

    • Brad Hilbert

      Data should be used to evaluate effective teaching. Why did the students not meet the objective? How can the teacher adjust the instruction methods to help students reach the goal.

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