Where do we set the bar?

A few weeks ago we were talking about school ‘accountability’ in one of my classes. I mentioned that I didn’t think that most schools were yet producing ‘future ready’ graduates. If they were, we would see more school environments that immersed students in deeper learning, student agency, authentic work, and rich technology infusion opportunities.

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There seems to be fairly wide agreement that schools that aren’t achieving minimum levels of proficiency on standardized tests of lower-level – or, for PARCC & SBAC fans, arguably mid-level – knowledge are ‘failing’ or should be ’turned around.’ But even broad, schoolwide success on most current assessments is still a pretty low floor for how we judge the efficacy and success of our schools. If we raised the bar up to preparation for true life readiness, wouldn’t most schools do pretty poorly on the four shifts noted above? (and other fronts, like information literacy and global awareness) When do we as a society care about and have a sense of urgency about that?

One Response to “Where do we set the bar?”

  1. Scott,

    I think it’s especially confusing when considering that the bar should potentially be set at a different level for different schools. For example, should standards for Broughton High School – a well-funded school in Raleigh, NC – be set at the same level as those at Fike High School – an eastern NC school with far less resources? Such an interesting topic to ponder and I think this goes back to the debate surrounding aspects of common core. Thanks for posting.

    Cheers,
    Hayden Vick

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