In Other News…The Other Schorr, Getting to College And Career, Kick Up Your Boots With CMT!

Here’s a 100 percent Chicago-free look at what’s happening elsewhere:

On Wednesday 9/19 Country Music Television is hosting an event on adult education in D.C. – with a special CMT artist guest…I will play the cowbell.  No, sadly, I’ll just be moderating the panel.  RSVP and more 411 here.

This new paper from ACT* on college and career readiness is worth checking out on the capacity challenges (pdf).  The focus on the performance targets is important – but there is an enormous ‘how to’ challenge here as well.

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review Lisbeth Schorr (one of the coolest mom’s in the social policy business) makes her case for broadening how we think about evidence (pdf).

*Bellwether works with ACT.

One Reply to “In Other News…The Other Schorr, Getting to College And Career, Kick Up Your Boots With CMT!”

  1. You know, I’ve been pouring over and re-formatting my district’s and my state’s evaluations of my HS students’ past performance in a number of subject-matter specific areas. I have to do that because what my state offers me to understand who my students are and what they know is insufficient for my professional standards. (And I think I work in one of the best urban districts in the nation.) I understand what ACT is after but I also find that their approach is hackneyed and generally unhelpful.

    See, one really important detail is that over the past 30 years of modern reform mania, we Americans have managed to do to our schools what we have done to our forests. Smokey Bear was once a nice idea. Manage, supervise, control. Turned out, that kind of mania for putting out fires has only led to greater danger of forest fire devastation and ecosystem damage. Forests are overgrown and there is way too much underbrush drying out in many national forests close to urban areas.

    ACT, like their reformist brethren (enablers) is focused on putting out fires, regardless the unintended consequences. They emphasize one goal: that of getting kids ready to work and beat the dreaded menace from wherever in the world our leaders think is threatening us at the time. Did we learn nothing from the Cold War? There is a time and place to be wonkish–this is not one of them. Talking about capacity and readiness and other such modern social engineering gibberish is just that. Both sides of the political aisle have bought into the kind of reform ACT is pushing by way of their testing regime and teacher “accountability.”

    Allow me to suggest that rigid adherence to standards or some college testing outfit is not what will propel American students to greater achievement. Human beings need reasons, a purpose in life, and a reasonable expectation of a level playing field. More than anything else, human beings require a sense of belonging and support when struggling with difficult odds. Notice what I’m asserting: not that we should be coddled but we should indeed be challenged, and most of us encounter hard choices and trying times as it is and that’s not necessarily bad but when we do encounter overwhelming odds, our social order and our schools should be there to help us overcome the odds not browbeat us or our teachers into accepting a narrowly-focused path towards whatever success means.

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