In an editorial I read tonight, the columnist notes “Our schools reflect society more than they shape it,” an idea I have promoted on this blog numerous times. I steadfastly believe this statement but was more interested in the next line, which comes after a lengthy discussion about how schools have become more surface than substance:
We live in a culture of face value, a superficial world of skim-reading, snap-judgments, and thin-slicing, in which perception is all …
While in the midst of a standardized testing craze, a technology acquisition frenzy, and a push to focus on the lowest achieving students (as the author states), I believe that there currently exists an influence to “improve the numbers” in our “data-driven” education system. Instead of being pushed to maximize deep learning, I am asked to ensure that “no one fails.”
One proposal for a new program in my school was to use a standards-based grading system, so no one can fail. Obviously, this shows a lack of understanding of what standards-based grading is and seems somewhat delusional to think every single Freshman will pass by simply changing the grading system. Someone read an article or went to a conference and now thinks the magic bean is discovered. While I like the idea of this grading system, I don’t think it will solve education’s woes by itself.
Maybe this will lead me to post how our district discovered the term “PLC” and now thinks forcing everyone into a Professional Learning Community is the new silver bullet.