Yong Zhao a University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education at Michigan State University and international consultant to many governments talks here about the dangers of the narrow use of national test scores to define what students need.
I heard him speak recently at our Statewide forum on the use of the Ultranet in schools. This clip is a reminder to all those in decision making roles to take a balanced view of school improvement and what constitutes school success for students. Sure good skills in core areas like maths and science are important but not at the expense of creative skills fostered through the Arts.
As I begin to consider school structures for 2011 and feel the pressures to lower class sizes at the expense of what feels all else [usually in the well less informed stance that by lowering class sizes you release teachers to work more one on one with students and improve outcomes - as measured by test scores] this is a timely reminder to stop – consider a whole range of skills and ensure students get a fair share of a balanced curriculum. Don’t get me wrong I think students and teachers deserve smaller numbers in home groups but perhaps that’s more about working conditions not outcomes.