Friday, December 03, 2010

NCLB mandates cemetery seating

Cemetery seating is a term that describes the educational
model that takes 30 kids with nothing in common
except their chronological age , and then moves them lockstep
for twelve years, for no other reason than that;
on any given day, they can all take the same test and be
"compared" to each other.

"To each other" is not a useful standard of competence.
All achievement gaps are individual.
They cannot be closed in unison; not for all students at once,
not for some students at once, not for any arbitrary grouping
of students, all at once.

We need to interact one on one with every student; find out what they want to learn about, then help them learn how to learn. Students who are busy learning do not need the attention of an adult, much less a "teacher".

This plan does not except students from passing some kind of valid and cumulative measurement of the specific skill sets that make diplomas and certificate useful to employers and institutions of higher learning.

To the extent we are able, we need to free students from the rigidity of twelve years of standardized testing.

If we simply must, I would suggest beginning every class period, the time when teachers take roll, deal with tardy students, accept homework, and listen to lame excuses, be used instead for testing via computers. The results should be immediately available to the teacher. Failures could be mitigated immediately real time.

Each student would have a computer because we would stop wasting money on textbooks and spending part of it instead to buy a connection for students, to the world body of knowledge.

Submitted for discussion in the upcoming school board election.

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