Bill Ferriter is 100% on target with his recent post, “Are We REALLY Preparing Kids for the Global Economy?” After reading the recent Washington Post manifesto on school reform by Rhee and other misguided leaders, Bill notes with insight:

Success in tomorrow’s knowledge-based world depends on innovative thinking and collaboration. It depends on finding connections across domains and understanding what global issues look like through the lens of international neighbors.

It depends on the ability to generate creative solutions to problems. It depends on understanding the kinds of cultural factors influencing the choices made by other nations. It depends on being able to persuade in a world where influence is easier to generate and where minds are buried in thousands of messages.

The problem is that the tests Michelle and company have built their reforms around don’t measure any of these skills. Instead, they’re focused on the kinds of low level thinking that can be easily assessed in 60-question multiple choice exams.

Flashback to February 2006 at TCEA.

Mutually Exclusive?

H/T to Chris Betcher for sharing this on Twitter, so I could see this article on Flipboard.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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3 Responses to High Stakes Tests do NOT encourage a 21st Century Skill Focus

  1. If teachers focus on 21st Century skills, the standardized tests will take care of themselves. Principals need to have the courage to lead in this direction. Endless test prep will get us nowhere as it turns kids off to the joy of learning.

  2. I agree, what about creative thinking and skills that really translate into ‘real world’ situations. It may be time to stop trying to fit everything into one box.

  3. Douglas wrote:

    If teachers focus on 21st Century skills, the standardized tests will take care of themselves.

    I used to think this, too, Douglas, but my scores have been the lowest on the hallway for years. The highest scores belong to the lady who follows the pacing guide the closest and has her students recite, repeat and memorize.

    And considering that the highest scores are what everyone seems to want, I’m in the uncomfortable position of trying to explain why parents and principals shouldn’t be worried about the low scores my kids are posting because the skills that they’re learning are more important but less valued.

    Any of this make sense?

    I’d like to believe that teaching for higher order thinking would take care of the standardized tests, but that hasn’t been my experience at all.


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