What I Told the White House

03/03/2010
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Today the White House blog asked “What does 21st century education mean to you?”

I don’t normally read the White House blog, but Michael Josefowicz, one of the regular commenters here pointed me to the post.

The White House asked for responses via Facebook, Linked-in or Twitter. I chose the latter, though I found 140 characters were not enough. I used 1120 characters, give or take a few. This is what I told the White House.

.@whitehouseIt 21st C. education recognizes that all knowledge is connected; art, music, social studies are part of math & science emphasis.

.@whitehouselt 21st C education isn’t about a score on a test, it’s preparing a rounded person to accomplish great things.

Then I pointed them to yesterday’s blog posting.

.@whitehouselt Assessment is essential, but it must be appropriate to the learning desired, to the subject matter, & to student needs.

.@whitehouselt Formalized assessment now takes a huge part of teaching time & school resources for very little benefit to students.

.@whitehouselt Emphasis on standardized testing reveals a lack of imagination in assessment & produces lack of imagination in students.

.@whitehouselt 21st C advances should allow individualized teaching & learning. That will require individualized assessment. <more>

.@whitehouselt Emphasis on standardized exams takes imagination/effort from individualized teaching, resources not available to develop it

.@whitehouselt Race To The Top stifles creativity rather than promoting it. Innovation is directed into narrow channels.

I could have gone on, but I had the sense they weren’t really listening.

Maybe I’m wrong about that.

I hope so.

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