It was very interesting to read the first in a series of articles published by the Bangor Daily News about education in the state of Maine.
On one hand this blog post belongs to The New Classroom, and on the other hand this blog post belongs to Maine District 59. At some point these ideas begin to cross fertilize one another. The issue is one of good educational practice and good politics.
The article entitled "How Maine Hurt Education by Trying to Reform It" revealed that the state of Maine has actually hurt education by its attempt to reform education. (How Maine Hurt Education)
This is an important consideration. On the one hand we attempt to reform education, and then on the other hand those reforms don’t work.
The point of the article is that the inconsistency and the rapid change of various programs in the state of Maine has actually served to hurt educational reform.
I couldn’t agree more
The idea that the state of Maine has had six different testing mechanisms and protocols in the last 10 years means that we do not know what we are measuring, and we are not measuring the same thing at each instance. If a test is to be reliable it must demonstrate reliability over a series of years.
We haven’t done that. Instead we have invented new tests and not evaluated those assessments correctly.
This just doesn’t work
Coupled to the idea that we have changed testing mechanisms and protocols is the idea that we have developed proficiency based grading without a clear mandate or without a clear process. The point is simple - we have not defined what we mean by proficiency or by proficiency based grading.
At the root of our dilemma here is a single observation.
We have not defined what we mean by success in learning