Understanding defined by measurement?

“It is important to measure performance because if you can’t measure it, you can’t understand it; if you can’t understand it, you can’t control it and if you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” The Times of India

I recently read an article on rewarding student leadership in schools and it had this quote which to me suggests that measurement is a key component of understanding and I have a wondering about that.

Dictionary definitions of the word say that to understand means to either comprehend or to be able to empathise to another’s feelings. Well we do have tests in schools for the former – comprehension but not that later empathy. So on that basis alone since we don’t measure empathy we cannot understand it nor improve it.

We do of course have the lack of empathy effects and we do measure those ( student counselling, suspensions, incidents etc..).

On the whole I actually agree with the statement but there are a number of things quite difficult to measure in context but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand them it’s about focus really. y