Getting a great education that the tests can’t measure


As I sit with officials from the Texas Education Agency and the Dallas ISD discussing what goes on in our classrooms, I often reflect that the drive to testing frequently pushes education out of the classroom.

One of my favorite education blogs, the Living Classroom, comes out of a the West Seattle Community School where, many days — perhaps most days — education goes on in wonderful ways.  No test could ever capture the progress made.

Latest example:  This boy made this squid.  He had fun doing it.  He learned a lot.  Look at the excitement.

(Somebody get P. Z. Myers’ attention:  P. Z.!  Look at this squid!)

Asher and his amazing squid, The Living Classroom, West Seattle Community School

Asher and his amazing squid, The Living Classroom, West Seattle Community School

It’s pretty colorful, even for a squid, but I’ll wager the kid now knows more about squids than most Texas ninth grade biology students.  Of course, sewing squids is not among the list of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.  What Asher now knows . . . such learning would have to be smuggled into a Texas classroom.

When education is outlawed, only outlaws will have education.

2 Responses to Getting a great education that the tests can’t measure

  1. […] Living Classroom in the American Northwest (Now the Taproot School) […]

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Someone recognized the poem on the board in back of Asher. It’s by Theodore Roethke (1908-1963).

    NIGHT CROW.
    (from THE LOST SON AND OTHER POEMS [1948])

    When I saw that clumsy crow
    Flap from a wasted tree,
    A shape in the mind rose up:
    Over the gulfs of dream
    Flew a tremendous bird
    Further and further away
    Into a moonless black,
    Deep in the brain, far back.

    More Roethke, and MP3s of the recorded poems, here.

    At schools where they let the kids sew their own stuffed squids, the third and fourth graders study Roethke poetry. Imagine that.

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