Northland Poster Collective dead; long live Ricardo Levins Morales

September 25, 2011

Great posters with provocative aphorisms came out of the Northland Poster Collective.  Alas, Northland called it quits in 2010.

One of their best artists, Ricardo Levins Morales, continues the fight at his own site.  Morales is the guy who made this work, on the importance of standardized student tests:

Testing, by Ricardo Levins Morales

Testing, by Ricardo Levins Morales

Earlier I questioned whether Einstein actually said that.  I don’t think he did — but I love the poster and the sentiment, all the same.  I haven’t been able to verify the quote in Alice Calaprice’s The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, for example.

In my classroom the air conditioning often did not work last spring, at testing time.  When we’d open the windows, we’d get visitors — usually bees, but birds on at least two occasions.  The student in the picture has her priorities right.

The poster is just $10.95.  Teachers, if a dozen of these appeared in your school, it might make a difference.

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True, but did Einstein say it?

May 6, 2009

Poster by Ricardo Levins Morales. Updated March 2015 - click image to purchase a copy of the poster from Mr. Morales.

Poster by Ricardo Levins Morales. Updated March 2015 – click image to purchase a copy of the poster from Mr. Morales.

Nice poster, great thought — you can’t measure everything about a student with a test, nor with a battery of tests.  Texas testing in core areas finished up last week, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate testing runs this week.

Not everything that can be counted, counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
– Albert Einstein

I especially thought of this quote one day last week while reading the questions to a kid with Downs syndrome who, as best I could measure from just watching reactions working problems, has a great flair for mathematics, and again when I discovered a geographic genius in the special education group.  (My classes say universally the tests were easy — and for some reason I find that terrifying.)

Did Einstein say it? I found the poster at Learning is More Than a Score; it can be purchased from the Northland Poster Collective.  Neither suggests where we might verify that Albert actually said it, though Bob Murphy at More Than a Score said he understands it may have been on the wall in Einstein’s office.  The artist is Ricardo Levins Morales (see more at Ricardo Levins Morales Galleries).

Readers, can you help?  Did Einstein say that?  When and where?

Update March 2015:  Quote Investigator urges that we attribute the quote to William Bruce Cameron, in a 1963 book.


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