February 20, 2007

Today's loopy education editorial

Courtesy of the Boston Globe.

Judging a school by its test scores isn't a bad idea, it's just a limited one. A bill in the state Legislature would create a new measuring stick -- one that charts the chances students have to engage in creative activities. That might mean acting in the school play or being in the science fair. And as this century dawns, it should also mean engaging in multidisciplinary activities that may combine math and art or science and economics.

You really do need to read the whole thing.

And, note the irony that a government commission is going to be in charge of defining what "creativity" is and how it will be judged. Yeah, that'll work.

7 comments:

Parentalcation said...

Do High School pranks count?

How about class clowns? Do they get bonus points?

ShortWoman said...

How about the kid who writes a short story about a school that is under lockdown because of a classmate-turned-shooter? Does that kid get points for creativity, or arrested?

dweir said...

Ugh. Oh, the humiliation.

I sat on a Massachusetts state Dept. of Ed arts curriculum advisory council for a year. It was a 3-yr appointment, but after the first year, it was clear nothing was going to be accomplished. Every time we met, conversations kept drifting off to advocacy and getting more money for the arts -- not our charge -- and off of topics like graduation requirements or MCAS (the state assesment) -- either of which would have likely stemmed this ill-conceived bill.

You see, there has been much hoopla in the MSM regarding real or imagined "narrowing" of the curriculum. There is even a local advocacy group with a "Campaign for the Education of the Whole Child". The "whole child" message was touted big time by our newly elected govenor, Deval Patrick. Patrick is the first Democrat elected governor since Dukakis in the late '80s. So, this is a big deal for lefties, even though they dominate in the state legislature (somewhere around 90%).

I fear we'll see a lot more foolish legislation before this governor's term is done.

The bill is filed under House docket no. 2244. I'll let you know if the full text is ever posted.

allen said...

I wonder what the unit of measure of creativity and innovation ought to be?

I don't think you can measure creativity by the cubic inch although that works pretty well for car engines.

Maybe it's more of an area measure. After all, there's a lot of loose talk about "covering" material so maybe the measure should be square feet or acres or if you want to be all metric, square kilometers.

Whatever the measure is it had better take into account creativity suppressors which might result in either negative creativity or a loss of native, walking-in-the-door creativity. For instance, phonics results in kids who can read but what of it? If phonics results in a loss of creativity, as is commonly predicted, perhaps literacy is an over-valued commodity?

At least the graduates of Massachusetts' public education system won't have to worry about international competition. They'll be leaps and bounds ahead in creativity and innovation even if they can't spell either word.

KDeRosa said...

I wonder what the unit of measure of creativity and innovation ought to be?

the Picasso^3 ?

nbosch said...

You seem like the kind of person who might enjoy this:

The Department of Health and Human Services with the help of child-safety expert Kenneth McMillan have written these guidelines titled "Boundless Imagination, Boundless Hazards: Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe From A World Of Wonder."

"The HHS also discourages aimless playtime activities that lack a rigid, repetitive structure: "Opt instead for safe activities like untying knots, sticking and unsticking two pieces of Velcro, drawing straight lines of successively longer lengths, and quietly humming a single note for two to three hours."

"But even these relatively safe activities can become imaginative, experts warn, without proper precautions. "Do not let children know that, for example, sailors and pirates untie knots," McMillan said."

When I first read it I thought it was a joke!! Good Gravy.

You can read the entire article at The Onion.
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/child_safety_experts_call_for

nbosch said...

OK it is a satirical look--it's still funny.