Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Child Left Behind

Dave and I just got back from Minneapolis at a MERLOT conference and Dave raised the idea that this national group of educators covering most disciplines in higher education should be a policy making group. Why not produce a Merlot report on the state of education in America. The discussion moved to possible topics. Dave hit it out of the park. He wants to investigate the child that is left behind -- like the entire NBA.

There are some very successful individuals that meet this definition. College and becoming a nuclear scientist was not in their DNA. So, why should every student be defined as successful by meeting a college bound agenda? and a failure if they don't. There are many very successful careers that do not need this as a measure of success.

Then we should not make being left behind as a failure, it just might be a success. Glass half full, Glass really full. Just because the student's educational glass is half empty does not mean that there is only failure in the future for them.

If a technical school does not need the "standardized tests" it does not mean that the school or the individual is a failure.

What is illiteracy? Not enough English? Math? Who sets these rules. I am a musician - these standardized tests don't test anything that is really important to me -- music theory, playing the clarinet, writing world class songs.

So this might be the problem. We need more music in the standardized tests. Just get rid of some of the English and Math. All students must be able to play the piano and the oboe.

Yes, this could save the world.