What kids know and can do? Or just how they compare to others?

Parents may not understand the test score from the state or national test; however, they do understand and want to know how their child’s performance compares to other children across the state and nation.

Terry Holliday via http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2012/11/taking-stock-of-unbridled-learning.html

Yet another indication that parents don’t care about what their kids actually know and can do, they just care about how they compare to others?

4 Responses to “What kids know and can do? Or just how they compare to others?”

  1. My name is Amanda Rice and I’m in Dr. Strange’s class EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I am a parent of two girls, one in the third grade and one in the sixth grade. I care more about the education they are receiving than what scores they make on the FCAT. I’m not worried about how they compare to other students. I worry about how much they know. I want them to do their best and learn everything they can to prepare them for the future, not if they can test well. I hope that their school and teachers will teach them the most up-to-date information they will need to know.

  2. Hi Scott,

    In Australia, we are in the process of moving from state-designed OUTCOMES-based curriculums, to a single, national STANDARDS-based curriculum.
    Apart from the inevitable reduction of the capacity for curricula to meet local needs… My main concern ATM with this new national curriculum is the reporting against the standards – it now seems more difficult to inform parents of where their child is actually achieving, albeit easier to inform them how their child compares with the nominated standards for their year level…

    • Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. Is there no connection between the standards and desired outcomes? In other words, is there anything that would allow you to still focus on what kids need to know and be able to do (like you presumably were able to do before)?

  3. In the ‘old world’ (although not very old – we’ve only reported on the new curriculum for one semester so far…), the reports to parents would be quite clear about the outcomes that the child had achieved. Alongside this, the child also received an a-e grade for each learning area – a big political push over here recently (sigh…).
    In the ‘new world’, the report focuses in on reporting upon the child’s progress against their year level STANDARD and an a-e grade is assigned depending upon the relative level of this progress.
    ATM, it definitely seems as though we are providing less clarity to parents about where their children are ‘at’ and, instead, focusing in on the narrow concept if the letter grade and how the child COMPARES with others…
    At our school, we generated a ‘supplementary’ report, to try and add some more (relevant) information for parents, beyond what the departmental mandated report provided…
    Thanks for your interest and ongoing insights – I learn a lot from your tweets and posts.

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