Lately, I’ve been finding myself wondering if maybe the best strategy for changing education is to join ’em, not fight ’em. I mean, if the only material that we think is important is the stuff that our kids are going to get tested on, well, then let’s have MORE tests! (Play along!)
How about a test that every student has to pass on how to live a more carbon free, planet-friendly life? (Wonder how many of them even know what “carbon free” means.)
How about a test on “managing, analyzing and synthesizing multiple streams of simultaneous information?” (I love the NCTE.)
Or here’s a good one. Let’s make a test for a child’s ability to talk to strangers online, not as in whether or not they should, but as in how they go about doing it. (I want my kids to talk to strangers online, btw.)
What if we made a test to see if every kid knew “20 Easy Ways to Use a Wiki?” (Um, actually, let’s not do that. Too many grownups are doing that already.)
Here’s one: Let’s put together a test to see if our students can “Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts?” (There’s that rascally NCTE, again.)
How about one that checks to see if they can solve a real problem in their communities and create a plan to implement the solution? (Eh, why bother? Probably would never get funded.)
And finally, how about one that tries to figure out whether or not they can effectively use all of the people, resources, technologies and whatever else they have at their fingertips to learn just about anything they want to learn without sitting in a school with a teacher in the room? (Isn’t that our ultimate goal here?)
Not finding too much of that in “Common Core” which will, no doubt, soon lead to the “Common Test” which, no doubt, will be written by folks with a “Common Interest” in making money, deciding what’s right and wrong for everyone, and being able to say that they’ve “reformed” education.
At least those with the means can start getting their kids some not-so-common test prep in kindergarten now. Never too early to think about the test.