"Hey Kid Listen Up: Marion Brady's Perspective on Race to the Top"


Marion Brady provides insights and reflections on the Race to the Top education initiative, sharing what we can know for certain about its impact on students and schools.

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1. Hey, Kid! Listen Up! Hey, Kid! Listen Up! Marion Brady Race To The Top: Race To The Top:

2. 2 This you can know for sure: This you can know for sure: The future wont be the same as the present or the past. ?

3. 3 And this you can also know for sure: And this you can also know for sure: The future will be more complicated, unpredictable, and dangerous than the present or the past.

4. 4 So the answers and solutions youre learning in school wont do the job. Youll have to come up with your own.

5. 5 That means youll have to think INFER ANALYZE HYPOTHESIZE RELATE GENERALIZE MAKE VALUE JUDGMENTS and so on, because these thought processes are the CREATORS of new knowledge.

6. 6 Fortunately, complex, higher order thought processes can be taught, learned, and improved.

7. 7 Unfortunately, higher-order thought processes arent going to be taught, learned, or improved as long as politicians set education policy and demand standardized tests

8. 8 standardized tests that force educators to emphasize just one thought process: Remembering

9. 9 Why do standardized tests mostly measure short-term memory instead of higher-order thought processes? Because nobody has yet figured out how to test higher-order thought processes.

10. 10 To do that, a test would have to: (a) trigger a higher-order thought in your brain, then (b) a computer or stranger would have to be able to judge the quality of that thought and assign it a meaningful number.

11. 11 Neither (a) nor (b) is yet possible. Period.

12. 12 Test-taker differences in background, interests, ability, language, attitude, ethnicity, experience, situation, and so on, make it impossible to write a test item that will cause every test-taker to think predictably.

13. 13 Even if test-item writers knew how to make you think predictably, your thought would be far too complex and abstract for a computer or stranger to judge its quality and assign it a number that meant something.

14. 14 Einstein summarized the problem simply and clearly: Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

15. 15 Evaluating higher-order thought processes requires higher-order thought. Teachers do it all the time, but its a subjective process that requires a lot of dialog between teacher and learner.

16. 16 (Note: A standardized test item may SEEM to be testing your higher-order thought processes, when its just: Asking you to remember someone elses thought you read or heard, or Asking you to guess what the test-item writer was thinking.) ?

17. 17 What youll most need in the years ahead, what America will need most, is creativity, intuition, ingenuity, insight, imagination, perceptiveness, discernment, judgment, vision.

18. 18 These are products of higher-order thought processes, and their quality cant be measured by tests of how much textbook-type information you can remember.

19. 19 This wrong idea: Education is just learning facts is THE problem messing up your education.

20. 20 Theres no middle ground on this issue. If Einstein was wrong, then education is mostly just learning lots of facts. And standardized tests to find out what you remember are all thats needed to show how well youre educated.

21. 21 But if Einstein is right, American education is headed in the wrong direction. You, your children, and your childrens children will suffer the consequences. Personally, Im with Einstein. I believe the standardized testing fad is a misguided, simplistic, abusive, de-humanizing, expensive, horrendous mistake.

22. 22 So, for yourself and future generations, resist standardized testing. Start a conversation

23. 23 E-mail and Twitter the URL for this PowerPoint to your friends, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, representatives, senators, state governor, newspaper editors, reporterseverybody. www.marionbrady.com/Powerpoint/HeyKid.ppt

24. 24 Im Marion Bradyfather, grandfather, great-grandfather, retired middle school teacher, high school teacher, college professor, school system administrator, author of textbooks and professional books, curriculum specialist, publisher consultant, advisor to states, institutions, and educational foundations, long-time educational columnist for Knight-Ridder/Tribune newspapers, visitor to schools around the world, and mourner for learner potential being wasted by policies set by policymakers who may know a lot about business or politics, but obviously know little about educating. www.marionbrady.com/Powerpoint/HeyKid.ppt Home page: www.marionbrady.com Copyright 2009 by Marion Brady.


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