"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Response to Ed Week puff piece on competency-based instruction

I have posted two responses/comments to the Education Week article, “Personalized Learning, Competency Education Need Policy Support, Group Says” (http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/marketplacek12/2015/11/personalized_learning_competency_education_need_policy_support_group_says.html)

I quote from the article, then give my comments.

Ed Week: The federal frameworks advise policymakers on moves that the organization said could close persistent learning gaps, improve equity, and "dramatically increase student achievement."

SK: YES IT COULD. But there is no evidence that it does: "Although an emerging research base suggests that CBE is a promising model, it includes only a few rigorous evaluations and analyses of current and ongoing CBE pilots and similar programs."
(This is from the National Governor's Association "Expanding Student Success: A Primer on Competency-Based Education from Kindergarten Through Higher Education, " a document that aggressively pushes CBE.)

Ed Week: On the federal policy level, redesign of assessment around student-centered learning was "Issue #1," with the report's author writing that the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act "relies on static, end-of-year, summative assessments that have motivated many educators to 'teach to the test,' narrow the curriculum and focus on some, instead of all, students." To create personalized, competency-based systems requires "multiple measures of learning in real time."

SK: IN OTHER WORDS: we don't need end of the year standardized tests anymore. We can now do online instruction (based on the common core) and test students on the their progress regularly, as often as every day, leading to greater and greater profits for the testing industrial complex. This is why the president cheerfully announced the new limits on standardized testing. 
"Multiple measures" = more tests of different kinds = more profits


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