Good question. Below is a link to a video of a Tennessee high school student speaking at a board meeting about school reform and specifically the adoption of the common core and the assessments surrounding it. It is very interesting to hear his point of view, and he is well spoken and delivers a good speech. While he speaks against its adoption and sites some compelling reasons why we should take a closer look at it, what I find most interesting is the point he makes that we have gone to far with our reliance on DATA, and that most things, the important ones anyway, taught in a classroom can’t be quantitatively measured.
However, I believe we can and do assess them. We assess them throughout the years with a variety of methods. They are often part of every formative assessment we give and evident in our summatives as well. It is the amalgamation of projects, conversations, investigations, tests, and all that goes into making learning happen. It is not however gauged in a “one and done” high stakes test.
While I am not opposed to the Common Core standards I do believe that most things schools, states, and the Federal government test and hold up as meaningful data points lack the true essence of teaching and learning. If we are to teach the whole child we must embrace the notion that the true essence of teaching and learning are in part, as this young man puts it, creativity, passion, inquisitiveness, and inspiration.
Take a look at this video. It made me think about my practices and how I not only measure those “intangibles” but how I teach them as well.